In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, exercise is a mainstay way to maintain endurance so that you are not susceptible to disease. In addition, exercise can also increase bone density, especially when you enter middle age (40 years and over).
As we get older, bone density and the immune system will change, both of which decrease.
However, if from a young age you are accustomed to adopting a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercise and eating a nutritious and balanced diet, then you have reduced the risks associated with bone health and decreased endurance.
How does exercise increase bone density?
Quoting from NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases, for most people, bone density and strength will peak in their 30s. After that, you can start to lose bone density and strength.
Meanwhile, women and men aged over 20 years who regularly exercise generally have more optimal bone density and strength than those who don’t. The benefits of this exercise will help the body prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) in old age.
Apart from maintaining healthy bones, exercising can also maintain muscle strength and balance. For this reason, exercising is important, especially for adults diagnosed with osteoporosis.
How does exercise maintain endurance?
Reporting from MedlinePlus, exercising is believed to increase endurance so you don’t get sick easily. There are several theories that support this, including:
- Doing physical activity can kill bacteria from the respiratory system. This can reduce your risk of catching colds, flu and other respiratory diseases.
- Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells, both of which are able to detect disease earlier than usual.
- The increase in body temperature experienced during and after exercise is believed to prevent the growth of bacteria in the body. This increase in temperature can help the body fight infection better.
- Exercise can slow down the production of stress hormones that are prone to making you sick. It is known that if the body has less stress hormones, the body will become more immune to disease.
In addition, exercise is also believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the world. For that, you need to consider doing adequate physical activity such as exercising.
Even though exercise is good for the body, you shouldn’t overdo it. The reason is, if you exercise excessively these activities can actually harm the body.
To be optimal, Surgeon General recommends adults to do physical activity for 2.5 hours per week or about 30 minutes per day.
Exercise recommendations for bone density
Exercising is great for people of all ages, especially if you are 40 years and over.
This age is the most important time to exercise regularly because body functions begin to decline, such as muscle shrinkage, decreased hormones, and a slowed metabolism so that body weight is easy to gain. As a result, your risk of being exposed to health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease is even higher.
Therefore, you should exercise regularly by paying attention to the intensity of the exercise that is in accordance with your body condition. Here are five exercise recommendations for bone density and immunity in middle age:
- On foot
However, if you have certain health conditions, such as heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, be sure to consult your doctor before exercising regularly.
What’s more, if you have osteoporosis, it’s best to ask your doctor about safe activities to do so you don’t risk fractures.
Tips for safe exercise in the midst of a pandemic
During a pandemic, you may feel worried about having to exercise because of the risk of catching the virus from other people, especially outdoors. Don’t worry anymore, follow these safe exercise tips to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
- Find a quiet place, like jogging in the tea garden
- Cycling or walking around the complex
- If you want to be physically active in a fitness center or public space, choose an open area with good air circulation or outdoors
- Use your own exercise equipment, such as a yoga carpet
- Always apply health protocols, such as keeping a mask on and always maintaining a safe distance from other people
Nutrients to increase bone density and immunity
Apart from doing sports that can increase bone density and immunity, you can consume several important nutrients to support the health of your body. Here are three nutrients that can maintain bone health and density:
- Calcium, which is usually found in dairy products, sardines, tofu, green vegetables, whole grains, etc.
- Vitamin D, can be obtained from fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), egg yolks, etc.
- Magnesium, contained in green vegetables, nuts, wheat, avocado, etc.
Meanwhile, there are five important nutrients that are believed to be able to maintain endurance, such as:
- Beta Carotene, contained in sweet potatoes, carrots and green vegetables
- Vitamin C, which is contained in vegetables and fruits such as peppers, oranges, broccoli, lemons, etc.
- Vitamin D, can be obtained from fortified foods, vegetable milk and supplements
- Vitamin E, can be obtained from nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli
- Zinc, which is commonly found in nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, and lentils
Now, there are supplements that contain a combination of some of the above nutrients to increase bone density and maintain endurance in middle age. For example, supplements with organic calcium content, which is better than artificial calcium, to maintain bone health.
In addition, this type of supplement also contains Ester-C, vitamin C which keeps your stomach from stinging and is useful for maintaining endurance, and vitamin D3 to help with calcium absorption, which is good for men and women in middle age.