Unfortunately, no one is immune to aging. It’s one of life’s non-negotiables. This means that maintaining optimal bone health throughout our lives is of great importance. Minerals are incorporated into our bones from a young age until they reach peak bone density at the age of 30. However, it can be difficult to know if you’ve developed sufficient bone mass during this time to ensure you remain as healthy and strong as possible.
Making key changes to your diet and lifestyle can help to build and maintain bone strength as you age. As Brisbane’s leading multidisciplinary health clinic, BodyViva is committed to helping our patients live healthy, happy lives free from pain and restriction. That’s why we’ve put together this list of handy, easy tips you can put into practice today to keep your bones in tip-top shape at any age.
It should come as no surprise, but vegetables are great for your bones. This is because they’re high in vitamin C, which helps to produce bone-forming cells. Some studies have suggested that vitamin C’s antioxidant effects may also help to protect cells from being damaged. Green and yellow vegetables in particular have been linked to higher rates of bone mineralisation in children and also the maintenance of bone mass in adults.
Resistance training and weight-bearing exercises
Another unsurprising fact is that engaging in certain types of exercise can also contribute towards building strong bones. Some of the best activities to promote bone health are weight-bearing or high-impact exercises. Studies have been conducted in older men and women that showed increases in bone mineral density, bone size and strength when weight bearing exercises were performed. Strength-training exercises will not only help to maintain muscle mass as we age, they are also beneficial for protecting bone loss. Women prone to osteoporosis are likely to benefit from strength training. BodyViva runs regular pilates and physio exercises classes which offer comprehensive resistance training designed to improve flexibility, build strength and help you maintain strong bones.
Consume enough protein
This is one of the most important factors in building and maintaining healthy bones. Did you know that bones are around 50% protein? Research has been shown to link low protein intake and a decrease in calcium absorption. But be careful, eating too much protein has been shown to leach calcium from bones because your body is trying to combat the increased acidity in your bloodstream. It should be mentioned that this doesn’t occur in people who consume up to 100 grams of protein per day – in fact, diets containing a greater percentage of calories from protein helped preserve muscle and bone mass during periods of weight loss.
High calcium foods
When we think of strong bones, we think of calcium. It’s the most important mineral for bone health and is also the main mineral found inside bones. Because bone cells are constantly being broken down and rebuilt, it is imperative that we consume enough calcium to protect our bones. Recommended daily intake (RDI) is a phrase commonly used to describe how much of something is needed to keep healthy individuals functioning. The RDI for calcium is 1,000mg per day for 97-98 percent of people. Spreading your intake throughout the day will help optimise calcium absorption into your bones.
Vitamin D is also important for building and maintaining healthy bones. Vit D plays many roles in bone health, including helping the body absorb calcium. If you want to ensure that you’re protecting yourself as best as possible from osteopenia, osteoporosis and other bone diseases, achieving a blood level of at least 75 nmol/l is recommended. Common sources of Vit D include sun exposure, fatty fish and cheeses. So take that weekend getaway to the beach if you haven’t had a lot of sun recently! It might just do you good – as long as you don’t forget the sunscreen.
At BodyViva, we’re committed to helping our clients live long, fulfilling lives. If you’re experiencing any pain, injury or restriction that’s preventing you from living the life you want to live, book an appointment with one of our qualified therapists today to discuss your tailored treatment plan.