Top Ways to Improve Bone Health
Our bones have many responsibilities, including protecting organs, providing structure, and storing calcium. Therefore, improving and maintaining bone health as we age is vital to help prevent damage and maintain a good quality of life. Luckily, protecting your bone health is easier than you may think. Find out how diet, physical activity, and other factors affect your bone health.
What Makes Bone Health So Important?
Our bones are constantly changing, new bone is formed, and old bone is broken down. When we are young, our bodies form new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and bone mass grows. Most people will reach their peak bone mass at around thirty years old. After peak bone mass is reached, bone growth and breakdown continue, but you lose slightly more mass than you gain. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have stored, which makes you less likely to develop certain bone conditions, such as osteoporosis.
Key Factors That Can Affect Bone Health
Many factors can affect bone health. For example, a diet low in calcium can contribute to lowered bone density, an increased risk of fractures, and early bone loss. Also, inactive people who do not perform physical activity are more at risk of osteoporosis (a common bone condition) than one who is physically active. Next, as you may have guessed, tobacco and alcohol abuse can also contribute to causing weak bones. Furthermore, if you are very skinny or have a small body frame, you may be more at risk because you may have less bone mass to take from as you age. Of course, as we age, our bones do become thinner and weaker. Even imbalanced hormone levels can affect bone health. For example, too much thyroid hormone can contribute to bone loss. Also, women experience a dramatic increase in bone loss during menopause.
How to Keep Your Bones Healthy?
There are many ways we can help boost and maintain bone health. For starters, it is vital to make sure your diet includes a sufficient amount of calcium. Dairy products, almonds, sardines, and kale are a few excellent sources. Our bodies also need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Certain fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna, are excellent sources of vitamin D. Other good sources are mushrooms, eggs, and milk. Next, involving some form of physical activity in your daily routine is essential. Now I know, at times, it can seem like a bear to make sure we get in our exercise every day, but luckily activities as simple as walking, jogging, or climbing stairs can help strengthen your bones and slow down bone loss. While these tips have been proven effective, at times, it is necessary to see your doctor if your bone health is a concern. Your doctor may recommend a bone density test to gauge your bone density and rate of bone loss. After evaluating these results, your doctor will decide whether or not medication to help slow bone loss is needed.