Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that occurs among many individuals today. As we age, our bones often lose their density and mass, becoming weaker over the years. When this happens, the risk of getting injured increases, which leads to further health complications.
Just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean our bones have to take a hit. Taking initiative to live a healthier lifestyle starting today can promote stronger bones and keep them healthy for as long as possible.
How to Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy
All it takes is a few lifestyle changes that will lead to keeping you fit and healthy as you grow older.
1. Calcium-Rich Diet
Make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet. Calcium is an extremely important nutrient required by the body that promotes strong bones, including the teeth. Calcium also helps with blood clotting and muscle contracting.
Your diet should include at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day in order to keep our body content with the calcium it needs to function.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is good for your bones as it helps the body absorb calcium. There are many foods that are rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish like tuna and salmon. However, if you really want to up your vitamin D intake, head outside to take in a little sunlight.
3. Regular Exercise
We all know how important exercise is to keep us healthy, however, specific exercises are designed to build strength and promote healthier bones.
Strength training exercises that use weights are an example, and any exercise you perform on your feet such as running and jumping are also effective.
The science behind exercise and strong bones is that when our bones are stressed through physical activity, the cells of the bones increase the rate of calcium production and cause the bones to grow denser.
4. Stop Smoking
The fact is that smoking damages your bones. Smoking reduces the amount of blood supply to the bones and inhibits the absorption of calcium in the process. This leads to reduced bone mass and density, which increases the risk of fractures and other injuries.
5. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Too much caffeine inhibits the amount of calcium you absorb. Therefore, it is recommended to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 400 mg per day. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, limit your intake by no more than 300 mg per day.
Too much alcohol can also contribute to reduced bone mass and affects your health in various negative ways. Be mindful of how many drinks you are having and limit yourself to no more than 2-3 drinks in one day.
6. Get Lots of Sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your health in a negative way. Among increased risk of obesity, heart disease and depression, without proper sleep, your bones can suffer as well.
Some research has shown that sleep deprivation can cause abnormal bone marrow and bone formation, according to a study done on rats. Other research also shows that individuals with sleep apnea are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
7. Eat Your Veggies
Veggies are important foods to consume for your overall health. Leafy vegetables such as kale and cabbage are rich in calcium and dark greens contain vitamin K, which helps reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.