Your bones are the structural foundation of your entire body and it is highly important to keep them healthy. While the body makes new bone at a rate faster than it breaks down bone all the way from childhood to early adulthood, once you reach the age of 30 this changes. At this point, your body still makes new bone, but at a much slower rate where more bone is lost than is gained. For this reason, it is important to take steps to protect and maintain your bones to prevent them from becoming excessively brittle as you age. In order to do that, here are some ways you can promote bone health:
Maintain a Proper Body Weight
One important way to maintain the health of your bones is to prevent excess strain by maintaining a proper weight. Being too skinny can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, while being overweight can increase the risk of stress fractures. Ideally, you will want to maintain a stable weight that doesn’t change dramatically and is normal or slightly above normal for your height.
Eating healthy is a key element in keeping your bones healthy, and vegetables are loaded with a number of important nutrients. For starters vegetables contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps the body create cells needed for bone production. Vegetables also help to reduce bone turnover, which is the process associated with osteoporosis. It has been shown that older women who eat plenty of vegetables have lower rates of bone turnover than those who do not.
Specific Types of Exercise
While all exercise is beneficial, there are specific types of exercise that have been associated with building and maintaining strong bones, such as strength training and weight bearing exercises. Strength training is ideal because it helps to build muscle mass in order to provide more support to the bones. It has also been shown to increase bone density. Weight bearing, or high impact exercise, helps to promote new bone formation, decreases inflammation, and slows the rate of bone turnover. Some examples of weight bearing exercises include walking, running, and light aerobics. It is recommended to at least do 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise at least five times a week.
Get Enough Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is an essential mineral necessary for strong, healthy bones. However, what many people don’t realize is that vitamin D is required in order for the body to absorb calcium. This ultimately means that no matter how much calcium you consume, your vitamin D levels will dictate how much of it your body is able to absorb. Unfortunately, many people are vitamin D deficient, which means that their calcium intake is also affected. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. In some cases, this can be achieved through your diet, while in others you may need to use supplements.
Smoking has many negative effects on your health and being toxic to your bones is one of them. Unfortunately, everything on this list can be counteracted by smoking. Even medications designed to promote healthy bones are rendered inactive when combined with smoking.