Five Lifestyle Approaches to promote Bone Health
By Nmami Agarwal 25-May 2022 Reading Time: 4 Mins
Your bones play many important roles in the body. Healthy bones provide structure to your body, help with mobility, protect your brain, heart and other organs, anchor muscles, store calcium and other minerals for us. You may be surprised to know that your bones are continuously changing, New bones are made and old bones are broken. There is a lot you can do to improve your bone health beginning in childhood and continuing into old age.
Here are some lifestyle approaches that may not only help you with your bone health but overall vitality:
- A Well-Balanced Diet – Many nutrients are required for stronger bones. It is advisable to have a well-balanced, nutritious diet including a variety of foods, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables. It is important to eat foods rich in calcium like low fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, salmon, broccoli, spinach, etc.
- Get some Sunshine – For Stronger bones, it is crucial to have a sufficient level of Vitamin D in your body. Your body requires Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Sunlight contributes to your body’s production of Vitamin D. You can make it a habit to sit in the sun for 15 mins every day. If you’re worried about not getting enough vitamin D by sitting in the sun, you can include oily fish, salmon, mushrooms, eggs or a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
- Increase your Physical activity – Moderate physical activity like Walking, Jogging, dancing or light aerobics for 30 minutes everyday can help you build stronger bones. Some strength training exercises, weight bearing exercises and Bicycling for 3-4 times a week can also help improve muscle mass and strengthen bones.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking can cause reduced blood supply to the bones and disrupt the body’s absorption of calcium. The Nicotine in cigarettes slows the production of bone forming cells. Smoking also affects the balance of hormones which is required to build and maintain a strong skeleton in both men and women. Hence, smoking has a direct link with the weakening of your bones.
- Drink Alcohol in Moderation – Chronic use of alcohol has a negative effect on the production of hormones which help protect your bones and on the production of vitamins which are required to absorb calcium for bone strength. Drinking excessive alcohol weakens bones in many ways, causing them to become more brittle. Brittle bones are more likely to fracture.
Protecting your bones is easier than you think. You can start by adopting the above lifestyle approaches to ensure your bones are strong and healthy. It is important to start as early as you can as It is easier to build new bones when you are younger.