Bones are very important to the overall function of our bodies because they provide structure, protect our internal organs, and anchor our muscles. Many of the physical activities we participate in daily can lead to fractures that damage our bones. It’s crucial that we take care of our bones so they can hold up against fractures and are protected against diseases such as osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.
Bones can break down with age, but there is a lot we can do early in life to make sure they stay healthy in the long run. Learn more about what you can do on a daily basis to strengthen your bones and prevent them from wearing down.
Increase Calcium Consumption
Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for the proper development of teeth and bones. It’s also beneficial for muscle function, nerve signaling, hormone secretion, and blood pressure. To help the body absorb calcium, eat calcium-rich foods along with foods high in vitamin D. Foods that are rich in calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, spinach, and collard greens. Foods rich in vitamin D include shrimp, cereals, orange juice, sardines, egg yolks, and tuna.
Increase Potassium Consumption
While potassium isn’t known for aiding bone health, it may neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body. Eat foods such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes with the skin, yogurt, and bananas to get more calcium in your diet.
Drink Less Caffeine and Alcohol
Too much caffeine hinders the body’s ability to absorb calcium. It can be especially damaging if you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet. Drink coffee in moderation and be sure that you’re consuming enough calcium to begin with.
Cutting back on alcoholic beverages can also help. While moderate consumption is okay, heavy alcohol consumption interferes with vitamin D’s ability to absorb calcium.
Daily exercise will make your body healthier overall, and it’s particularly great for improving bone health. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle are at risk for developing osteoporosis. To address this, studies have shown that exercise can have a positive effect on bone density.
Running, walking, jumping rope, and climbing stairs are the best types of exercises for bone health. Weight training can also be very beneficial.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t smoke, but you may not know that bone health is one of them. Smoking prevents the body from absorbing calcium, which decreases bone mass.
Get Out in the Sun
Spend as little as five to thirty minutes in the sun a couple of times a week. When it’s exposed to the sun, your body actually makes the vitamin D it needs to help your body absorb calcium and build healthy bones.
Check Your Medication
There are certain types of medications that can weaken bones by decreasing the amount of calcium absorbed by the body. Be sure to speak with a doctor about how your medications could be affecting your bone health.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can maintain strong, healthy bones for a lifetime.
For more information on maintaining healthy bones, what you can do to prevent fractures, and fracture treatment methods, click here to download our eBook,Understanding Fracture Care: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment.