5 ways to build strong bones
Sticks and stones might break my bones… everybody knows this saying, right?
What we don’t all know or acknowledge until we have to deal with it ourselves, is that more than sticks and stones, what actually breaks our bones is growing old and losing calcium and phosphate from our bodies.
As we age, our body might begin to reabsorb calcium and phosphate, instead of keeping these important minerals in our bones. Losing calcium and phosphate constantly makes bones weaker and weaker, until at a certain point when this process becomes what we all know as osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis makes the bones brittle and easily breakable, even from the smallest accidents or falls, or from day-to-day activities.
This affects both men and women, with about 54 million Americans suffering from low bone mass & being at a high risk of osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Research shows that one in two women and up to one in four men that are over 50 years old suffer from this disease and will break a bone.
The fact that osteoporosis is very common doesn’t necessarily mean that you will end up having it. In fact, the more you take care of your bones when you’re young, the more you can avoid having weak bones at an older age.
Let’s check some ways you can build healthy and strong bones, beefing up your bone mass for the future:
1. Pay attention to what you eat
A balanced and rich in vitamins and minerals diet will do wonders for your body, bones included.
When your mom used to tell you as a kid to eat your veggies, she did it for a good reason! Vegetables are a good source of Vitamin C that stimulates the production of bone-forming cells. They also help increase bone density, and the higher your bone density is, the smaller the risk of osteoporosis.
Make sure you have a high protein diet, as this can help protect bone health during aging and weight loss.
Don’t forget to also consume foods that are rich in calcium like yogurt, cheese, milk, or spinach.
2. Stop postponing exercise
Some people live a pretty sedentary lifestyle, choosing to rather binge watch Netflix than to do exercise.
And with everything going on in the world right now, everyone has become a bit of a couch potato, hurting our bones in the process.
I’m not kidding! Having a sedentary lifestyle is considered a major risk factor for osteoporosis.
So, we should move our bums from the treacherous couch and start doing exercise regularly, even if in the confines of our own house.
Weight-bearing and resistance training are the best for your bones so you could try some running, walking, picking up weights, jumping rope, or even skiing, for the more adventurous ones.
3. Try giving up on your vices
Remember Alexander Woollcott’s famous saying: “All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening?”
Sadly, he was right. Most things we enjoy doing in life are actually not so good for our health, even for our bones.
Do you love your morning cup of coffee? That’s understandable, but don’t overdo it, as too much coffee can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
The same goes for alcohol! Heavy drinking can interfere with Vitamin D doing its job, causing bone loss in the long run. Moderate drinking is recommended (one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men).
And if you need any other reason to quit smoking, you should know it’s also bad for your bones, as it prevents the body from absorbing calcium efficiently.
4. Take your vitamins, kids!
Both Vitamin D and Vitamin K are extremely important when it comes to having strong bones.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium while Vitamin K activates osteocalcin that ensures a smooth integration of calcium into your bones.
These two vitamins work best together, as they have a symbiotic relationship.
Consider taking a natural supplement that will give your body the daily needed intake of both Vitamin D & K!
5. Know the risks of being an astronaut!
Although it might be an unlikely profession for some people, it’s most little boys’ childhood dream!
What you didn’t know is that astronauts suffer from space-induced osteoporosis, caused by low-calcium diets and all those hours of weightlessness.
And while everything space related leaves us speechless and in awe, space bones are really not cool! Astronauts can lose between 1-2% of their bone mass per month while being on a mission. That’s a big price to pay for seeing the stars up close!
All in all, to keep your bones strong and healthy you have to follow a nutritious diet complemented by the right supplements, make some changes in your lifestyle, and maybe not go to the Moon.
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