And they’ll love you for many tomorrows.
It’s easy to take the health of your bones for granted when they’re young and strong. But when your bones start becoming weak and fragile, you’ll wish you’d taken better care of them throughout your life. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to start caring for your bones.
What can you do today to help your bones stay strong as you age?
Importance of Strong Bones
You may remember a plastic white skeleton displayed in your high school biology classroom. A rather impressive sight, that’s what you’d look like minus all your other body parts. Without your bones, however, your body would be a big pile of useless muscles and tissue. Your bones not only provide support for your body to move and function, but they give it its shape, hold muscles in place, protect your vital organs from injury, and store and release calcium.
During the childhood and the teen years, bones grow at a faster rate than old bone is lost. Once you hit your 30s, however, bone growth slows down and bone mass is increasingly lost. When new bone isn’t made fast enough to keep up with the bone loss, osteoporosis can develop. This disease occurs when bones are weak and fragile. Without strong bones, you’re more prone to fractures in the hip, wrist, and spine—common causes of ER visits and hospital stays for the elderly.
Protect Your Bones
Taking steps today to increase your bone mass will lessen the likelihood of osteoporosis—and even osteopenia, osteoporosis’s predecessor—down the road. It’s especially important to build healthy, strong bones while you’re young and your bones are still growing. But it’s also important for adults to take appropriate steps toward protecting the bones they have.
Diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices all have a powerful impact on the health of your bones. Here are some simple ways to take care of your bones.
Simple Way 1: Diet
Bone is made partially of calcium. Without enough calcium in your diet, your bones will become brittle. All adults under the age of 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium in their diet each day. After age 50 for women and after age 70 for men, adults need 1,200 mg daily. Great sources of calcium include milk, cheese, and yogurt; fortified foods such as cereal and orange juice; green veggies including broccoli and kale; and canned salmon, soybeans, and tofu. If you can’t get enough calcium through food, take a supplement.
At the same time you’re downing calcium, you should know it’s not going to stick if you’re vitamin D deficient. Because vitamin D is needed for your body to absorb calcium. Adults younger than 70 should get 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day. Those beyond age 70 need 800 IU a day. Get vitamin D from fatty fish such as sardines and tuna; liver; fortified milk; and egg yolks. Your body makes some vitamin D on its own, but sunlight helps the process, so get out when you have a chance and your bones will thank you.
Simple Way 2: Exercise
Physical activity not only helps grow strong muscle, but strong bones as well. Those who don’t exercise have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than those who do exercise. Include weight bearing exercises in your daily routine to build and maintain bone mass. Walking, jogging, weight lifting, aerobics, tennis, and dancing are all great options. Aim for at least half an hour a day.
Simple Way 3: Lifestyle Choices
Want healthy bones and a healthy body? Quit smoking and only drink in moderation. Over time, smoking and too much alcohol will reverse bone growth and increase your risk of broken bones. Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption in your body so it can’t be used to build bones. The toxins and drugs in cigarettes damage bone cells, the hormones that keep bones strong, and the cells that make bone cells. If you’re a smoker, you put yourself at an increased risk of broken bones, and in the event you do break a bone, your recovery will be prolonged.
Simple Way 4: Talk With Your Doctor
If osteoporosis runs in your family or if you’re over 65, it may be time to have a bone density test. Results from this scan will let you know if you should take medications to slow the rate of bone loss and improve bone health.
An adult has 206 bones in his or her body. But did you know that babies can have as many as 350 bones in their bodies? Over time, some of these fuse together as one larger bone.
Weight-Management University is HERE! Learn more about the Self Guided Educational Course that will teach you what you need to know to make exercise and nutrition a part of your healthy lifestyle for a permanent weight management solution.
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.
Proper nutrition plays a key role in your journey to a healthy lifestyle and to meet your fitness goals. Planning a well balanced diet can be extremely overwhelming and time consuming. That is why I have teamed up with Personal Trainer Food to help make it easy for you. Click here for more information and when prompted, please type Trainer ID# 8170. When you are ready, you may click here to place your order. The quality of the food is second to none.