Bones are quite literally the support system of the body, so it’s super important to keep them strong and healthy. Though weak bones may seem like a problem for old age there are many things we can do early in life to make sure our bones stay healthy during our later years.
Our bodies are building up bones until about age 30, at which time they typically reach peak bone mass. This varies from person to person. Did you know that bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt in tiny amounts? That’s what keeps them strong and healthy. Before reaching peak bone mass, the body is creating new bone faster, but after age 30, the bone building slows down and more bone is lost than gained.
When the body can’t create new bone as fast as the old bone is lost, osteoporosis sets in, causing bones to become weak and brittle, which allows them to fracture more easily. Osteoporosis is most prevalent in women over the age of 45 and in men over the age of 55. To most of you that may seem like a long time away. But remember, once this disease sets in, it is extremely hard to reverse. Since there is no way of knowing if you’ll develop osteoporosis, prevention is the best cure, as they say.
You can take steps earlier in life to strengthen your bones and build up bone mass to prevent its loss later in life.
1. Know your Family Health History
As with many medical conditions, family history is a key indicator of bone health. Those with a parent or sibling who has or had osteoporosis are more likely to develop it. Talk to your parents, grandparents and other family members to find out if anyone has been diagnosed with osteoporosis or has had challenges with brittle bones.
Information is power. Once you know your family’s medical history, it will help you in knowing what health issues you are most susceptible to, and allow you to take preventive measures accordingly.
2. Boost Calcium Consumption
When most people think bones, they think calcium. This mineral is essential for the proper development of teeth and bones. It also plays a significant role in proper muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone secretion, and blood pressure.
But calcium isn’t the end-all, be-all bone loss cure. The key is to help the body absorb calcium by pairing calcium-rich foods with those high in vitamin D.
Foods that are good sources of calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, spinach, and collard greens.
3. Don’t forget the vitamin D!
Where there’s calcium, there must be vitamin D: The two work together to help the body absorb the bone-boosting calcium. Boost vitamin D consumption through sun exposure and by taking appropriate supplements such as Nutriplus Bonehealth. Vitamin D’s importance to bone health has been proven in studies on “seasonal bone loss” — elderly people can lose more bone mass during the winter because of lack of sun exposure.
4. Make Exercise a Part of your Daily Routine
Regular exercise is key to keeping a number of health issues at bay, and bone health is no exception. In fact, living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.
Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, and stair climbing keep bones strongest. Resistance training has also been shown to improve bone health in several studies. Get yourself a set of free weights and learn how to use them to build arm and core strength while you are watching TV.
5. Cut Down the Caffeine
Caffeine does have some health benefits, but unfortunately those benefits aren’t for our bones. Too much of it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. One study showed that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day accelerated bone loss in subjects who also didn’t consume enough calcium.
Instead, drink orange juice, or water flavoured naturally with lemon, cucumber and other herbs, that act as a natural pick-me-up.