As much as everyone takes good care of themselves by keeping their bodies healthy most of the time, they have started to give importance to keeping their bones strong. It is most likely because of how the bones affect one’s overall well-being. They even play a lot of roles in one’s body — such as providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles, and strong calcium. Having healthy and strong bones helps people move, protect their important organs, and store vital nutrients and minerals. Moreover, individuals with poor bone health are more susceptible to pain and fractures, which can lead to other major physical problems such as limited mobility. This makes it necessary to incorporate measures to increase bone density.
Bone density actually changes over time, as a person continues to age. The bones absorb nutrients and minerals and grow stronger throughout childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. But once one enters their late 20s, they have finally reached their peak bone mass, which then means that they will no longer gain bone density naturally. This also means that there would not be enough bone mass that would be created by this time, which may lead to bone loss, and an increased risk of developing fragile bones.
Usually, after the menopausal period, one becomes susceptible to osteoporosis. This is a condition that can weaken the bones so much, which is highly possible to easily break. Moreover, according to a study about the effects of calcium supplementation on bone density, postmenopausal bone mineral density is a function of peak bone mass and the rate of subsequent bone loss, which are equally important risk factors for fracture in later life.
Your bones need nutrients and minerals to remodel and strengthen themselves at all stages of life. With age, however, this ability to increase bone density and keep them healthy deteriorates. And while it is critical to have strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you may also protect your bone health as an adult. Fortunately, there are a few measures to practice as a means of preventing these to happen. These measures to protect your bone health and increase bone density might be easier than you think. Some of the easy ways include increasing your calcium intake and consuming food rich in vitamin D; including physical activities to your daily routine; and even by just stopping to smoke and limiting yourself with alcohol intake.
Increase Calcium Intake
One of the easiest ways to increase bone density would be to increase your calcium intake as well. Calcium is actually the primary nutrient for bone health, being responsible for repairing your bones regularly. And because old bone cells are constantly broken down and replaced by new ones, calcium consumption is critical to maintaining bone form and strength.
Health professionals suggest that adults should consume at least 1000 mg of this nutrient every day. However, the amount of calcium your body can absorb varies significantly. And the best way to actually absorb calcium is by consuming only small amounts throughout the day, instead of having to eat one high-calcium meal per day. And surprisingly, if you consume more than 500 mg of calcium in a meal, your body absorbs far less of it than if you ingest less. As a result, it is ideal to spread your calcium intake out over the course of the day by eating one high-calcium food at each meal.
A few ways to increase one’s calcium intake would be having some oatmeal, given that unsweetened ones have around 100 mg of calcium; eating seafood such as sardines, salmon, and shrimp, as they are packed with calcium as well; eating more greens, nuts, and beans, because they are one of the richest sources of calcium, and tend to be easier to add to recipes like soup; and taking calcium supplements. But then, getting calcium from foods is deemed to be the best way, rather than supplement-intake.
Include Physical Activities to Your Daily Routine
Part of the measures to increase bone density would be having to include physical activities to your daily routine, keeping your spine healthier and stronger. It is essential to practice weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, and even climbing the stairs. You can also do more vigorous exercises but low-impact aerobics such as inclines, bench steps, and jumping exercises, which can certainly help in strengthening your bones as well. It is recommended to engage with these types of exercises for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, and at least three times a week.
These physical activities have been demonstrated in studies to increase bone mineral density, bone strength, and bone size, all of which are beneficial to your current bone structure. These activities have even reduced markers of bone turnover and inflammation. Furthermore, strength training is beneficial for more than just increasing muscular mass. It may also help women of all ages, particularly those with osteoporosis, osteopenia, or breast cancer, prevent bone loss.
Eat Food Rich in Vitamin D
Aside from calcium, vitamin D is also another essential nutrient for increasing your bone density. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium efficiently, which makes it important for bone health. And according to certain studies, children and adults with low vitamin D levels have reduced bone density and are more susceptible to bone loss than those who get enough.
The most common ways to increase your vitamin D intake would be through the consumption of vitamin D-rich foods such as seafood, liver, egg yolks, and fortified foods like breakfast cereals; and through sunlight exposure. Sunlight helps with the natural absorption of vitamin D. Therefore, experts suggest that one must get at least 10 minutes of sun exposure every morning.
Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol Intake
Certain vices are harmful to one’s body in general, negatively affecting your health. This is especially bad for those having a hard time maintaining a healthy body by having to increase bone density.
This makes it the reason why it is essential to practice lifestyle changes, particularly in terms of smoking and drinking alcohol. As part of keeping your bones in its healthiest form, it is essential to quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake. Apart from smoking being a well-known hazard, research has shown that smokers are at high risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis, and fractures. Moreover, the absorption of calcium and vitamin D is hampered by heavy or regular alcohol use. Thus, putting you at risk of losing bone density in your spine.
Keeping your bones healthy by integrating measures to increase bone density into your lifestyle is as important as keeping your overall well-being healthy as well. Incorporating such measures listed above should be considered, as they are proven to be effective in helping you maintain healthier bones as you age, and can even reduce the risk of bone disease. Engage with these measures regularly and your bones will definitely be in shape, even as you grow old.