Are you wondering how to improve your bone health and why? Then keep reading. This guide offers practical tips to support bone health.
Over 200 bones in the human body
You have just over 200 bones that make up the skeletal structure, and they are all interconnected with various muscles, tissue, and organ systems. When your bones are compromised, the condition of your entire body could be at risk.
Now you see why bone health is so important! Yet, bone health is a subject that many people take for granted. They tend to focus instead on reducing body fat, strengthening muscles, and improving cardiovascular activity when pursuing physical health. But taking care of your bones is just as important.
Maybe you have a weaker bone structure that has resulted in numerous fractures or breaks throughout your lifetime. Perhaps you are struggling with osteoporosis as you get older. Here are a few ways that you can support better bone health.
Support bone health with better nutrition
One of the leading indicators of bone health is nutrition. If your body is not receiving enough essential vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, your bones are not obtaining the nutrients needed to grow and maintain strength. A healthy diet incorporating all main food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy, can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy bone structure.
The absence of these eating habits, especially over a long period, could be the reason for your weak bones. Start eating a more balanced diet now, and you can further support bone health with daily multivitamins or other dietary supplements. All after getting your doctor’s approval, of course.
Exercise to support bone health too
When bones and muscles are not pushed with physical activity, their structural integrity is compromised. Exercise can increase the production of vital resources that help bone cells reproduce and repair themselves, maintaining strength and preserving bones over time.
Weight-bearing exercises and strength training are particularly beneficial to bone health, helping new bones grow and keeping current ones strong. These physical activities will help your entire musculoskeletal structure, which includes bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Together, these vital components can protect your bones against weakening.
Know your physical limits
Just as not enough physical activity can lead to weaker bones, so too can over-exercising. If you work out too often or too intensely, you are putting unnecessary stress on your bones and joints. This could lead to inflammation that hurts the long-term condition of your bones, as well as accelerates the declining process before aging sets in.
As you get older, reduce the intensity of your exercises toward low-impact options. Some common examples are swimming, dancing, speed walking, and bicycling.
Get screened for diseases
Other health conditions can contribute to weaker bones. Type 1 diabetes at a young age results in less production of insulin, which doctors have found can hamper bone growth.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks your joints and bones, particularly in the hands, causing them to be severely weakened. Celiac disease, also known as a gluten allergy, can also affect the integrity of your bones due to the diet changes that it requires.
Cut out damaging habits to support better bone health
Some of your lifestyle choices may be the root cause of your weaker bones as well. Smoking, in particular, is an extremely risky habit that affects not only your lungs and your mouth but your bones as well.
Additionally, consistent alcohol consumption can reduce the strength of your bones. If you have poor sleep patterns, your bone cells are unable to recover and repair themselves effectively, compromising the condition of the bones themselves. If continued for many years, these negative habits could result in severe bone loss or a weakened structure.
Improve your posture
That’s right. How you hold yourself can affect bone health. If you have a poor posture, the bones in your neck, spine, legs, and arms could be put in positions that are not conducive to maintaining strength.
If you spend all day sitting at a desk, you face an even bigger risk of having skeletal issues that will manifest in the future. Find excuses to get up and move more often.
Do stretches or Yoga poses that force you to hold a good posture for a while. You can even purchase back braces that change the shape of your body while sitting or standing to improve posture. All of these strategies could prolong the life of your bones and keep them strong.
Change your lifestyle now to maintain strong bones
If you think you have weaker bones or want to prevent a future decline, start taking action today. Cut out bad habits like smoking, an unhealthy diet that lacks nutrition, and spending all day sitting down.
Start doing exercises that strengthen your bones without putting unnecessary stress on them and your joints. Get your doctor’s approval before starting any new fitness regime.
Find out if your family history makes you more prone to certain conditions affecting bone development too. Finally, have a healthy sleep pattern and work on your posture. Implementing all of these behaviors will give you the best chance of rebuilding strength in your bones and delaying the process of degradation.