After the age of 30, your body begins losing bone mass faster than it grows new bone mass, which can ultimately lead to conditions like osteoporosis. (source: Augusta Health) Typcially bone loss is a gradual process, but it’s important to start planning for good bone health early! Learn three easy ways to take care of your overall health, that directly affect the health of your bones as well!
First things first, Reduce your Sugar Intake. Experts suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day. In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of the total caloric intake of adults and up to 14% for children. (source: Healthline) Consuming added sugers strip the body of essential bone nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, in addition to the known effects it has on insulin metabolism, inflammation, acid-base balance, and so many other systems that impact bones. Bottom line, limit the amount of sugar that you consume and increase the health of your bones. Less Sugar = Strong Bones
Increase the amount of Calcium & Vitamin D in your diet. Calcium and Vitamin D work together to protect your bones and keep them strong—calcium helps build and maintain bones, while Vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb calcium. So even if you’re taking in enough calcium, it could be going to waste if you’re deficient in vitamin D. (source: endocrineweb)
Good sources of calcium include:
- Reduced-fat or skim milk
- Low-fat plain or fruit yogurt
- Swiss cheese
- Calcium-fortified juice
- Calcium-fortified cereal
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Vitamin D-fortified milk
- Egg yolks
- Fatty fish
Increase your Physical Activity. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Those who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. Exercising can help maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. (source: NIH)
Here are some of the best bone-building work-outs:
- Tai chi | Builds both coordination and strong bones.
- Yoga | A study reported in Yoga Journal found an increase in bone mineral density in the spine for women who did yoga regularly.
- Walking Quickly | A study of nurses found that walking four hours a week gave them a 41% lower risk of hip fractures, compared to walking less than an hour a week.
- Strength or Resistance Training | Engaging in some sort of resistance training at least twice a week is needed to stimulate bone growth.
According to American Bone Health, the best way to understand the health of your bones is by taking a bone density test. This test gives you a number called a T-score that measures your bone mass. Understanding the health of your bones is the first step to preventing Osteoperosis. Consult with your doctor to develop a bone health plan.