Our bones are our strongest protectors, always shielding our brains, hearts, and other organs from intense injury. Supporting our bodies and their movements, healthy bones allow us to move more fluidly and efficiently. However, it’s a fact that as we grow older, our bones gradually lose density, rendering them unable to function as they would in the early stages of our lives. The less bone mass you have as your age, the more likely you are to develop common bone diseases like osteoporosis, which makes your bones weak and brittle.
Thankfully, there are still some things we can do to slow the inevitable thinning process our bones face. Our lifestyle greatly affects our bone health, so making some simple adjustments here and there can do tons to strengthen your bones. You’re never too young or old to start caring for them. Start your journey towards strong bones for life and learn more about your bone’s health as we celebrate the Bone and Joint Awareness Week this October 12 to 20. Ahead, we share some simple tips you can do to maintain your healthy bones.
1. Eat balanced, vitamin-rich meals
As the old adage says, we are what we eat. And if we stick to healthy food, we maintain a healthy body as well. To build stronger bones, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) it’s important to incorporate food that is rich in calcium. Essential at all stages of life, calcium is one of the main bone-forming minerals and they can easily be found in common ingredients like milk, cheese, peanuts, and sardines.
Vitamin D can also greatly help in fortifying your body’s structure as it helps our body absorb the strengthening calcium. You can get it in liver, egg yolks, red meat, and more. Or, even better, you can get the necessary vitamin just by heading out on a bright day. With the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays your skin is able to make its own sufficient supply of Vitamin D. Harvard Health says, under the right circumstances, 10 to 15 minutes outside a few times a week should be enough for you to produce the sunshine vitamin you need.
2. Work it out
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the deterioration of your bones. Like our muscles, it needs constant movement to become stronger. So it’s time to start building a regular exercise routine and allocate a few minutes of your day to sweat it out. The United States’ National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends doing weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises to maintain healthy bones. These two not only improve your strength, balance, and flexibility, but they’re also important for building your bone density.
3. Say no to vices
It’s long been proven that smoking and drinking has a lot of adverse effects on our health. Picking up these bad habits make us more at-risk for cancer and other chronic diseases — but their damage they cause doesn’t only stop at one organ. Smoking, for one, affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium, while excessive alcohol use interferes with the balance of calcium. Not to mention, too much drinking makes you more likely to fall, which further leads to fracture and other injuries.
4. Have a talk with your doctor
Adopting these simple lifestyle tweaks can improve your bone’s health, but you also have to consider other biological factors that affect it. Your family’s health history, body size, hormone levels, and biological sex are all things you need to take into account. To be sure, have a talk with a health professional to accurately pinpoint specific points of concerns and get specialized advice on steps you can take to ensure your bones’ longevity.
You’re never too young or old to start caring for your bones. SeeYouDoc has a number of health professionals you can easily reach out to for health consultations. Browse through our list of Geriatric Medicine and Family Physicians who will guide you — whatever stage of life you and your loved ones are currently at — in maintaining your health. Find a doctor near you here and learn more about how you can fight and prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis here.