How to Make Your Bones Stronger
The good news is that bone health can be improved through diet, exercise and lifestyle factors.
A healthy diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D and other important nutrients is essential for bone health. It also helps to maintain a reasonable weight and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake, which can both decrease bone mass.
Eat a balanced diet that is high in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Make sure you are getting enough protein from lean sources like meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. It is especially important to consume sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D, as well as the vitamins K and magnesium.
Get regular exercise that uses your muscles and bones to exert pressure against gravity. Increasing your bone strength can help prevent fractures and other problems that can occur with weaker bones, such as osteoporosis.
Brisk walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, tai chi and weight training are all effective ways to build bone strength. It is important to perform these exercises in a safe manner and with proper form. If you have any medical conditions that interfere with the performance of these activities, consult a qualified health professional.
Exercising with weights can improve bone density in the spine and other parts of your body that are more vulnerable to injury. But remember to exercise slowly, with proper form and without pain to ensure safety and minimize the risk of injuries.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes, four or more days a week. The most effective exercises for strengthening bones involve resistance movements, which include squats, push-ups and other strength training moves that use your own body weight as resistance.
Including non-weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging or biking, is also an effective way to strengthen the bones in your arms and legs and improve your balance. These activities can also reduce your risk of falling.
Drink plenty of water, especially after exercising. This can keep your skin hydrated and promote bone formation by promoting the absorption of calcium.
Increase your sunlight exposure to improve your vitamin D levels. The sun’s natural rays can help your body produce vitamin D, and many foods contain fortified versions of vitamin D, such as milk, fish, eggs and some fortified cereals.
Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet through food and supplements, as these have been found to reduce the risk of bone loss and fractures in older adults. These fatty acids are found in many foods, including salmon, mackerel, nuts and seeds.
Take a multivitamin daily to help your body absorb calcium and other nutrients that are important for bone health. A good multivitamin should contain 1000 to 1200 milligrams of calcium per day.
Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables to promote bone health, as these are high in potassium and magnesium. These minerals also help to optimize calcium absorption.
Choose low-fat dairy products, dark green vegetables and fish for high-quality calcium and vitamin D. Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and saturated fats, as these can lower your vitamin D levels.
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