As we discuss frequently at Onto Orthopedics, preserving and building the strength of your bones is key to maintaining your health as you age. Although the health of your bones will be influenced largely by how they develop during adolescence and throughout your 20’s, there are still things that you can do to help your bones stay strong!
The following are simple things that you can do to help protect the health of your bones. They are great things to do individually but you will feel the most benefit if you embrace all of these concepts together.
Always Eat Your Vegetables
The majority of vegetables are fantastic sources of vitamin C. This is an essential vitamin for encouraging the growth of cells that work to build bones. There have also been studies to suggest that the antioxidant effects of vitamin C can help to protect the bones from the natural damage that occurs as we age.
Furthermore, regularly consuming a variety of vegetables is known to help increase bone density, which is largely concerned with the amount of calcium present in the bones.
So, simply by getting an ample amount of vegetables into your daily diet you can support your body in the process of keeping your bones healthy.
Get To The Gym
Research has shown that engaging in weight-bearing and resistance exercises assists with the formation of new bone.
These types of exercises can be performed both in and out of the gym, however, you will have a much wider range of equipment available to you in a gym environment. You will also be able to seek the professional guidance of those who work there.
Lifting weights is a simple but effective weight-bearing exercise and you can choose a manageable weight with which to do so.
Doing weighted squats is also a good way to give your entire body a workout whilst also enhancing the health of your bones. You can begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand, or gripping a barbell with both hands, and performing a set of squats.
Check Your Protein
If you are not consuming enough protein then the health of your bones is going to suffer. A lack of protein can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb calcium. On the flip side, a diet that contains too much protein can also be harmful to the bones.
Analysing your diet to determine whether you are consuming an appropriate amount of protein is a simple step towards better bone health.
Choose High Calcium Foods
Calcium is the most important mineral that is found in your bones. If you are lacking in this mineral then your bones will begin to lose both their strength and density.
Similarly to your protein levels, it is a good idea to monitor your diet to check if you are consuming an adequate amount of calcium.
Try to space out the amount of calcium you consume in moderate amounts in each of your meals, as opposed to consuming a large amount in one go. This is a good idea because our body can only absorb so much calcium at one time.
When it comes to calcium it is generally advised that you stick to dietary sources as opposed to taking supplements.
Pay Attention to Other Vitamins
Although calcium is considered to be the most important component for bone health, the importance of vitamin D and vitamin K are not to be overlooked. These vitamins are both extremely important for building healthy bones.
Vitamin D is particularly useful as it increases the rate at which your body can absorb calcium.
Consume Enough Calories
Consuming an appropriate amount of calories is important for several reasons, and the health of your bones is no exception.
If you are attempting to lose weight then not consuming enough calories may be something that you are aiming to do. In order to avoid this problem it is advisable that you always consume at least 1000 calories each day, with more than 1200 calories being a more ideal number.
Be aware of how many calories you should be eating in a day and then make sure you hit your target. It is also worth bearing in mind that increased hunger levels can lower your metabolism and cause a loss of muscle mass.
Consuming enough calories makes it more likely that you will be able to maintain a healthy bodyweight. If you become underweight then your risk of developing osteoporosis increases. This is something that those who have already gone through the menopause should pay particular attention to due to the decreased levels of oestrogen in the body at this time.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Adhering to all of the aforementioned suggestions can be an effective way to preserve the health of your bones as you age. Living a healthy lifestyle in other respects will also contribute to this process and benefit you in countless other ways!