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10 Tips to Improve your Bone Health
A few lifestyle changes can help you both build and maintain healthy bones.

It is important to ensure that young children and newborns maintain bone health to keep up with their growth. And as we age, it becomes even more important to be conscious of our bone health. We are more prone to fractures as we become older because the body can no longer replenish lost bone tissue at the same rate that it is being lost. This can restrict our mobility and have an adverse effect on our general health. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis due to a reduction in the production of oestrogen, a hormone that protects bones.

It has been observed that as we age, bone fractures are actually one of the major causes of mobility problems, health problems, and a loss of independence for the individual, requiring intervention earlier on to protect bone health.

Exercise isn’t important just for bone health, it also helps us maintain and build muscle which helps to support our bones.

Take a stroll or go for a run

You decide the length and frequency of your walks or jogs. You can select what is appropriate with the aid of your doctor or a personal trainer. It is recommended that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.

Include exercises like jumping, bench steps, or stair climbing

These exercises may be more strenuous than walking or jogging, but they are excellent for obtaining a challenging aerobic workout and strengthening bones.

Do resistance or strength training

Strength training with weights or resistance bands 2 to 3 times per week is good for your bones and promotes overall health.

Consult your doctor to find out which activities are best for you if you have osteoporosis (which occurs when the body builds too little bone, loses too much bone density, or does both) or are at risk of getting it.

Below are some more lifestyle suggestions to help you protect your bone health.

Quit smoking

Smoking has many adverse effects on health, and can also contribute to bone deterioration. Additionally, smokers have been found to have an impaired sense of balance compared to non-smokers, which increases the risk of falling and fracturing a bone.

Limit your alcohol consumption

The body’s capacity to absorb and regulate calcium, vitamin D and hormones is hampered by excess alcohol consumption. Your risk of bone fracture and loss of bone density could also increase.

Include calcium in your diet

Adults and children need calcium in their diet for healthy bones. Choose foods that are naturally high in it, like dairy products, tofu and nuts.

Try canned seafood

Sardines, shrimp, and salmon in cans are all high in protein and loaded with calcium. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for myriad reasons.

Eat more leafy greens, beans, and nuts

Calcium-rich foods include pistachios, walnuts, and almonds. White beans and traditional baked beans both contain a lot of calcium. You can eat them by themselves or include them in a low-sodium soup. Additionally, leafy greens are high in calcium; good choices include bok choy, kale, and collard greens.

Consider calcium supplements

You should speak to a doctor about including over-the-counter calcium supplements in your daily routine if your diet isn’t enough to help you meet the daily required quantity of it.

Consume eggs, fatty fish (such as salmon), and vitamin D-fortified cereal

All of these food choices can provide you with the 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day that is advised (or 800 IU for people 70 years or older). We need vitamin D as it helps our bodies effectively absorb calcium.

We all experience bone loss as a natural part of life, but it’s crucial to make sure you aregetting enough nutrients to limit excessive loss. Exercise has also been demonstrated to be a significant component in reducing muscle wasting, or sarcopenia, which similarly worsens with age.

If you have recently experienced a fracture or are worried about the health of your bones, visit your doctor so they can address your concerns and suggest the next steps.

References:

  1. Wong PKK, Christie JJ, Wark JD. The effects of smoking on bone health. Clinical Science. 2007;113(5):233-241.
  2. Jang H-D, Hong J-Y, Han K, et al. Relationship between bone mineral density and alcohol intake: A nationwide health survey analysis of postmenopausal women. Plos One. 2017;12(6).
  3. Calcium. US National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/. Updated October 16, 2019.
  4. FoodData Central. US Department of Agriculture Website. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
  5. Vitamin D. US National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. Updated August 7, 2019.

At Seva At Home, we produce a wealth of free health information to help individuals and families live healthier, happier lives. This has been produced by independent research carried out by the Seva At Home team. This information is not a replacement for medical advice. Please consult your physician for relevant medical diagnosis and advice.

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