How to Improve Your Bone Health
Improving your bone health is incredibly important as you age. Once you pass the age of 30, your body naturally loses bone mass. This can lead to serious problems like fragile bones and osteoporosis. When you have these conditions, your chances of breaking a bone increases exponentially. Fortunately, you can combat this loss of mass by making changes to your diet and exercise habits. Here is how to improve your bone health.
Do Weight Bearing Exercises
Weight bearing exercises are those in which your body bears your entire weight. These include running, walking, yoga, dancing, hiking, and playing sports like tennis and golf. When you do weight bearing exercises, your body makes new bone material. This means these exercises increase both bone strength, size, and density. Weight bearing exercises also reduce bone cell turnover and inflammation. These exercises can also help improve your balance, helping to prevent falls that can cause broken bones.
Eat Lots of Veggies
Vegetables are the best food you can eat for a variety of reasons. They are nutrient dense but low in calories, so you can eat plenty of them. Plus, they are a great source of bone strengthening vitamins like Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin K. These veggies are key to absorbing calcium (which we’ll talk about later) and promoting bone growth and density. Load up on a variety of vegetables every meal so you get plenty of nutrients throughout the day.
Strength training is also a great way to strengthen bones and helps prevent bone loss in both men and women. If you are unsure about lifting weights you can start with bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and pushups. You can then slowly add in weights, starting with very light ones. You can also use resistance bands to strengthen your muscles. These are great for doing upper body work without worrying about lifting too much weight.
Load Up on Calcium
Calcium is one of the most important minerals found in bones, so consuming it will help protect your bones and prevent any loss of strength. You can get calcium from yogurt and cheese, but if you don’t eat dairy, that’s okay. You can also get calcium from almonds, beans, lentils, sardines, leafy greens, rhubarbs, figs, and non-dairy beverages like almond or soy milk that have been fortified with calcium. If that is still not enough, then consider supplementing.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so it’s important to get plenty of it. You can get vitamin D by spending time in the sun, but too much time outside can lead to skin problems. Therefore, you will need to supplement with your diet and through vitamins. You can get vitamin D in cheese, fatty fish, and liver, but chances are you don’t consume enough. Check with your doctor to find the right dosage for you of Vitamin D.
Living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and plenty of plant-based foods will help your bones stay healthy and strong. You may think of your bones as static, but they are constantly tearing down and repairing themselves. Exercise and diet can increase the rebuilding of the new cells, keeping you strong and independent, no matter your age.