HEALTHY BONES ACTION WEEK
Healthy Bones Action Week | 23-29 August 2021
Most people don’t think about their bones until they have a fracture or until they reach older age. However, bones are living tissue, constantly in a state of renewal, so building and maintaining bones is a lifelong matter.
This year Healthy Bones Action Week will embrace the Tokyo Olympics and all that the great sporting event represents in the importance of building and maintaining strong bones and muscles for not only peak athletic performance, but to ensure active lives through every generation. We have partnered with athletes and health and nutrition experts to share their own stories of the importance of dairy in bone and muscle health, discuss the recommended daily intake and how it can be incorporated as part of a balanced diet.
If you're interested in understanding how dairy can support an active lifestyle and help reach your health goals, see more at Sport and Exercise.
As someone with a young family and fitness-based lifestyle, I want to do everything in my power to make sure I live a long, healthy and active life. For me, the key to this is combining exercise with getting my daily serves of dairy to build and maintain healthy bones and strong muscles, now and for the future.
It’s really important to me that I’m giving my kids the best opportunity to build strong and healthy bones in these crucial formative years, so I make sure we’re always incorporating dairy milk, cheese and yoghurt into our family meals and that we’re all getting our recommended daily serves. Let’s be honest, you will never find me far from the cheese board maybe over-indulging!
As a kid, and even still as an adult, my go-to drink has always been a glass of milk.
Dairy has been a staple in my diet growing up. From a bowl of yoghurt to a cheese board washed down with a glass of milk, dairy was always featured.
Having played contact sport my whole life, I know the importance that dairy products have played in helping me perform and recover from sport. The high calcium diet has helped prepare my body for optimum performance and reduced injury risk.
As a kid I swear I only ever ate and drank dairy products. I used to wake up and the first thing I’d drink was a glass of milk, just before I’d go to bed, I’d skull a glass of milk… and if I could avoid mum catching me, it was straight from the bottle! There was nothing worse than waking up and realising Jess had beaten me and finished the milk.
Dairy products play a huge role in bone growth and development, being so high in calcium with so many benefits. As an athlete I still ensure I consume enough dairy products and know it helps me perform and recover to the best of my abilities.
A recent bone density test showed my results in the top section of the chart. It delighted me but didn’t surprise me, as all my life I’ve had a good diet and dairy has always been part of it. I never succumbed to society’s fear of fat and have always been an advocate for butter, full fat milk and cheeses of every style available. Flavour and health have always sat side by side for me and I really believe that my innate strength comes from my diet, my love of walking every day and having a life as full and involved as my diet.
As an Olympic athlete, eating dairy and exercising regularly were essential to my performance, and I knew they were the building blocks for strong bones and healthy muscles.
As I got older and became a father and a coach, I recognised the importance of maintaining bone health to continue leading a long, healthy and active life, and I’ve aimed to pass those values on to my kids and the next generation of athletes. I’m always encouraging them to make sure they’re getting their recommended serves of dairy, because I know it’ll help them with bone and muscle health at every stage of their life.
Here are a couple of ways you can get involved and support this important national health initiative:
1. Host a Healthy Bones Action Week initiative in your workplace, encouraging staff to take the three actions (Calcium intake through foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt, weight bearing exercise and Vitamin D through safe sun exposure) for healthy bones each day. Share daily content from @AustralianDairy to kick-start the initiative!
2. Share Healthy Bones Action Week with your social followers. Encourage all Australians to do something positive for their bone health, by taking three simple actions for Healthy Bones and give a shout out to your calcium-rich dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt), tagging @australiandairy and #HealthyBonesActionWeek
Healthy Bones Action Week has called on Australians to protect their bones since 1994. People of all ages are encouraged to take three simple actions to build and maintain healthy bones:
For schools, this year we have partnered with Life Education Australia to develop a Bone Augmentation technology that will be used in their Healthy Harold vans. To celebrate Healthy Bones Action Week, we’re asking Australian kids to design, create and film themselves running through a breakthrough ‘healthy bones’ banner for a chance to win 1 of 7 $500 cash prizes for sports equipment for their school. The banner is inspired by the kind Aussie rules players run through before a game and represents the importance of keeping active and having fun whilst doing so.
For more information and to enter, visit: www.dairy.edu.au/healthy-bones/bonehealth.