Bones protect our organs and support freedom of movement, allowing us to move through all of life’s events. When we hit our 30s, the body’s bone-rebuilding process starts to decline, and we lose bone tissue. This makes us more susceptible to injuries as we age.
But rest assured, not all is lost! By incorporating the right supplements, foods, and exercise into your lifestyle, you can increase your bone strength, reduce your chances of pain and injury, and continue to pursue all of your life’s endeavors. Let’s get started.
How Does Age Impact Bone Health?
Bone loss is natural as we age, but osteoporosis can occur later in life if healthy and conscientious steps are not taken.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bones become porous and weak. This is common among older adults—over 44 million people in the U.S. have it. Your chances of developing osteoporosis depends on a myriad of factors like your:
Bone mass by the age of 30: You accrue the vast majority of your bone mass before the age of 30. The more bone mass you have, the less susceptible you are to osteoporosis.
Diet: A low-calcium diet can contribute to early bone loss and lower bone density.
Physical activity: Physically inactive people have a higher risk of developing lower bone mass and osteoporosis than those who are active.
Sex: Women have less bone tissue than men, so they are at greater risk for osteoporosis. Also, once women reach menopause, their estrogen levels drop, which triggers a natural breakdown of their bones.
Medications: Certain medications such as corticosteroids, aromatase inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and anti-seizure medications can be damaging to your bones.
5 Tips to Keep Your Bone Strength in Great Shape
It’s absolutely crucial to adopt bone-preserving habits to mitigate the extent and effects of bone loss. And it’s never too late to start.
Here are five natural and simple ways to start taking control of your bone strength today.
1. Engage in Endurance & Weight Training Exercises
Since our bone breakdown outruns bone formation the older we get, we need to stay physically active to keep our bones strong and healthy. Exercising also helps us maintain our coordination and balance, which can help prevent falls and fractures.
Focus on two types of physical activity: weight-bearing and resistance exercises.
Weight-bearing exercises are activities where you work against gravity. They include:
Resistance exercises focus on working your muscles. They include:
2. Avoid Low-Calorie Diets
Striving to stay fit does not mean you should pursue a low-calorie diet. Research illustrates that consuming less than 1,000 calories a day can lower bone density in both normal and overweight individuals. To build and maintain strong bones, follow a healthy diet of at least 1,200 calories a day.
3. Eat Foods Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
So what exactly should you eat each day? It’s essential to supply our bones with calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods. Calcium helps maintain bone mass (in our bodies, about 99 percent of the calcium lies in our bones and teeth), and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.
Here are some examples of foods rich in calcium:
Beans and lentils
Foods with a good amount of vitamin D include:
4. Take Supplements that Promote Healthy Bones
A healthy and simple way to further incorporate bone-strengthening nutrients into your diet is through natural supplements. Here are some suggestions:
Magnesium Citrate supplements: Magnesium citrate is a mineral that promotes healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It helps transport calcium across our cell membranes, playing a vital role in building bones.
Calcium Magnesium Zinc D3 supplements: Calcium Magnesium Zinc D3 is a trio of minerals created to support bone health and muscle and nerve function.
5. Avoid Smoking & Drinking
Smoking can inhibit blood supply to the bones and tissues and slow down the production of osteoblasts or bone-producing cells. Also, studies show heavy alcohol intake can put people at higher risk for osteoporosis.
Work toward reducing your cigarette and drink intake. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink a day, and men should not drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
Take Charge & Improve Your Bone Health
By incorporating the five tips above, you can give yourself the best chance at living a healthier and happier life, no matter what age you are. So be sure to spearhead your bone health journey today with these suggestions. Consult with your doctor, who can help you carve out a customized plan that works best for your body.