Simple Ways to Improve Bone Health
Building strong, healthy bones while you’re young is important, but as you get older there are steps to improve your bone health at any age. Here are a few ways to protect your bones from becoming brittle as you age.
Increase Your Calcium Intake
Taking a daily calcium supplement is a good start to any health regime. Consider also adding more calcium-rich foods into your diet. Food high in calcium include dairy products, dark leafy green vegetables, and oily fish like sardines and salmon. Other calcium-rich options include fortified tofu, almonds, dried figs, and soy milk.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Most people in northern climates don't get enough vitamin D the natural way (from the sun). Vitamin F is a necessary ingredient to helping the body absorb calcium properly, which you need more and more of as you age. It’s recommended that adults take 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D in addition to their daily calcium supplement. Combined calcium/vitamin D supplements typically don't contain the recommended daily amounts of each mineral.
Boost Your Intake of Omega-3
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, increased intake of omega-3 fats — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — can help build bone mineral content and produce stronger, healthier bones. Animal-based Omega-3 fats are mostly found in fish and fish oils. Other sources of Omega-3 include flaxseed oil, chia seeds, soybeans, spinach, and walnuts. Not only are those "healthy fats" important in maintaining bone health, but they play a critical role in preventing heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Perform Weight-bearing Exercises
Improve bone health by performing exercises that compress or "load" your bones. Exercises great for building bones include jogging, running, stair climbing, high-impact aerobics, dancing, basketball and tennis. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Strengthen Your Quadricep Muscles
Strong quadricep muscles or "quads" are vital to overall balance and stability. The four muscles of the quads — the rectus femoris, cactus medialis, vastus laterlalis and vastus intermedius — stabilize the knee joint, making them crucial for just about any movement that requires moving or bending the legs. Performing quad-strengthening exercises like squats and lunges can also help stimulate bone growth, making the femur stronger. Quad-strengthening exercises are especially important if you've ever taken bisphosphonates, which can increase the risk of spontaneous femur fracture.
If you're concerned about your bone health, or specific risk factors like osteoporosis or osteopenia, we can help. Call to request your free consultation.