16 Ways to Build and Maintain Healthy Bones
The density of our bones tends to be something we don't think about until we have an issue. A break or fracture might throw the question of bone health into your mind in the moment, but it's wise to start thinking about your bone density before any issues occur.
We're going to explore the idea of bone health and osteoporosis in this article, looking at how to improve the state of your bones as well as ways to prevent osteoporosis.
Let's take a look at how to develop and maintain healthy bones.
How to Maintain Healthy Bones
Our bones aren't just static pieces of material that grow to maturity and stop changing. Just like every other part of the body, bones are always breaking down, developing, and recreating themselves in response to our lifestyles.
Aspects of bone break down naturally as they age, and our bodies have the responsibility to create a proportional amount of bone in response. When our bodies fail at this or we don't take the steps in our lifestyles to aid bone creation, our bones get brittle and are liable to break.
Osteoporosis is the natural outcome of excess bone loss. It's commonly thought of as a condition that older people experience, although it can happen to anyone at any age.
We continue to create new bone mass up through our late twenties. After that point, the body struggles to produce more bone than it loses, and our bodies become a bit more fragile.
It's possible for us to avoid osteoporosis and bone fragility if we incorporate a few things into our lifestyles. We're going to look at 16 ways for you to nurture your bones into old age and avoid significant issues.
1. Incorporate Vegetables Early On
You'll see throughout this article that one of the most important factors in bone health is a person's diet.
It's also worth mentioning that bone health in old age is related to bone development when you're young. A childhood diet rich in nutrients is more likely to set the stage for healthy bones as an elderly person.
Whatever your age, the nutrients you take in have a direct impact on your bones. So, if you take anything away from this discussion, incorporate vegetables into your diet on a daily basis.
2. Regular Weight-Bearing Activities
Our bodies tend to reinforce the areas that we use often. Repetitive exercise, of course, builds muscle and activates the processes in our bodies that contribute to better health. When we don't use our bodies, they cut out the muscle we're neglecting and atrophy starts to occur.
The same goes for our bones. Weight-bearing exercises contribute to increased bone production and bone density. This type of exercise exits normal life as we get older and less active, so it's important to stay active.
Impact training can be as simple as a few jumping jacks or as intensive as a dedicated workout program. On a side note, you might be happy to know that high-intensity workouts aren't always as beneficial to bone health as more moderate ones.
3. Eat Calcium-Rich Meals Throughout the Day
Calcium is the most significant mineral in bone development. It happens to be the most prominent component in the structure of your bones, so it's crucial to take a lot of it in.
Usually, the goal is to take in around 1,000 mg a day, maybe a little more as we get older and more prone to osteoporosis. Keep in mind that the body doesn't absorb all of the calcium that you take in.
Different factors can impact how well you absorb all of the calcium in your diet. As a result, consuming calcium-rich foods throughout the day is more effective than consuming all of your daily intake at once. For those who, don't like dairy, there are more options than ever. A serving of almond milk has 45% of your daily recommended calcium intake and you can round out the rest with a diet rich in vegetables.
4. Don't Forget about Protein
Protein helps our bodies incorporate the calcium we take in. A healthy amount of complete proteins in your diet will increase bone density by making use of whatever calcium you consume throughout the day.
However, excessive protein might cause calcium to leave the bones to balance out the blood's high acidity.
5. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D, much like protein, is used in the body to absorb calcium and strengthen our bones.
Many people have always turned to milk for their vitamin D and calcium needs. It's interesting to note that vitamin D is added to milk, while calcium is present in it naturally.
Other great sources of vitamin D are the sun, egg yolk, mushrooms, seafood, supplements, and more.
6. Avoid Extreme Diets
New and trendy diets are all the rage and you’ll see amazing transformation photos all over the internet and social media. However, extreme diets can be detrimental to bone health.
You could lose a great deal of weight in a short time, but sufficient calories are needed for healthy bone development and maintenance. A diet of at least 1,200 calories every day, depending on your weight, should support healthy bones.
7. Lose Excess Weight
A lot of extra weight can be difficult on a person's bones, especially if those bones are already prone to osteoporosis. Obesity won't cause bone loss or osteoporosis, but it will add undue strain to your bones as they age.
A healthy diet can help you improve your bone health and ward off extra weight gain.
8. Aim for a Healthy Weight
On the other hand, bone density does suffer when a person is too thin or can't achieve a healthy weight for their body.
Underweight individuals are less likely to produce enough bone mass and more likely to lose bone mass as they age. Some independent conditions cause undue weight loss, and those have to be dealt with.
If your issue is a general lack of nutrients, though, a balanced diet is the direction you should take to improve bone health.
9. Then, Maintain that Body Weight
Our final point on weight is that it's important not to fluctuate too much if you're trying to achieve good bone health.
Flip-flopping between weight loss and weight gain can actually be pretty harmful. Bone density isn't always regained after a period of serious weight loss, and that loss can be dangerous when more weight is added.
10. Treat Fractures and Sprains
It sounds like a no-brainer, but some people like to leave issues alone if they can heal naturally.
Treat any bone damage you experience throughout your life. Proper healing makes the risk of further damage a lot lower as you reach old age and experience bone loss. Those old cracks get riskier as things break down.
11. Quit Consuming Alcohol and Tobacco
Regular tobacco and alcohol use is linked to decreased bone health.
The occasional drink won't do you too much damage, and might actually have some health benefits. Excessive drinking and smoking, on the other hand, will only hurt your health.
12. Know the Signs of Osteoporosis
Know what to look out for as you age. Back pain, loss of height, easily-broken bones, and curved posture are some of the signs that osteoporosis is occurring.
Note that symptoms don't occur right away, so if you see any of these changes it's smart to go to a doctor immediately.
13. Know Your Family History
You can combat osteoporosis if you're aware that you're at high risk for it.
White and Asian individuals are at the highest risk. Additionally, you're at higher risk if you have immediate family members who have suffered from osteoporosis.
Parents and siblings are the best indicators of whether you'll have it, but grandparents are a great place to start looking.
14. Get Enough Magnesium
Magnesium has many benefits to our bone health. It helps vitamin D assist our bones as they absorb calcium. Additionally, magnesium appears to decrease the presence of some inflammatory proteins that harm bone health.
Foods that are high in magnesium include nuts and seeds. If you have a difficult time getting enough, you can consider a supplement.
15. Get Enough Zinc
Zinc is needed to create new bone cells and get rid of the old ones. It helps to activate the Vitamin D that aids in Calcium absorption and is one of the minerals present in bone structure.
Foods that are rich in zinc include pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, oysters, and many green vegetables.
16. Know Your Body
If you're experiencing trouble with your bones, do your best to avoid things that will put undue pressure on them.
It's best to know our limits and avoid strenuous activity that could cause serious damage as we get older. It's possible to regain bone health, just make sure to take things steady until your bones can handle it.
Bottom Line for Your Bone Health
Building and maintaining healthy bones can require a lot of effort and knowledge. It might be tough to start the process on your own, but this list should be a handy guide to help you.
An additional measure to ensure optimal bone health you can consider is supplements such as Bone Essence, a complete bone and joint supplement with a patented formula. If unsure, consult your doctor for advice and recommendations.