6 Tips for Stronger Bones

You know that bones protect internal organs, give our body structure, and allow us to move. But did you know that bone is living, growing tissue? Bones are made up primarily of a protein called collagen. Just like other tissues in the body, our bones must be kept healthy and strong. Our bones build the most mass, or bone density, in the first two decades of life. People typically reach peak bone mass before the age of 30. Bone loss outpaces bone formation after you’ve reached peak bone mass.

It’s still important to strengthen your bones after you’ve reached peak bone mass. At this point the goal is to slow bone loss rather than increase bone mass, however. Weak and brittle bones increase the risk for fractures, especially in old age. People with osteoporosis can break bones by falling and even coughing.

Bones are made of living tissues that must be kept healthy and strong. Use these tips for better bone health. Click To Tweet

Start young

Most people build bone density faster than they lose it until their late 20s. It’s important to strengthen your bones as much as possible during this time.

Many people do not take measures to improve bone health until it’s too late. It’s not uncommon for a person to learn that they have osteoporosis or low bone mass by breaking a bone.

The younger you are when you start improving your bone health and increasing bone mass, the stronger your bones will be.

Maintain a healthy weight

People with a smaller frame, and those who are underweight are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. It takes more to strengthen bones when you have less weight to move around. However, being overweight or obese isn’t good for bone health, either.

The ideal weight for making stronger bones improving bone health is being at a healthy weight.

Bone healthy diet

Almost all of the calcium in the body — more than 99% — is contained in the bones and teeth. Adding calcium to your diet is a good way to help build bone mass. Vitamin D is also important as it helps with calcium absorption; this allows your body to use the calcium you consume.

  • Choose healthy produce and avoid highly processed foods.
  • Low-fat dairy is a good source of calcium.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and turnip greens contain calcium and other nutrients.
  • Look for foods like cereals, juices, and non-dairy milk alternatives fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
  • Your doctor can help you determine whether calcium or vitamin D supplements are right for you.

Stay active

Sedentary living is bad for your bone health. More movement means stronger bones. Physical activity that requires moving your body weight — such as walking, hiking, running, jogging, dancing, team sports, aerobics, etc. — is a great way to strengthen your bones.

Muscle strengthening exercises using body weight, weights, or resistance bands also increase bone mass.

Give up unhealthy habits

Smoking is bad for your overall health, your heart, your lungs, and your bones. Give up smoking, or never start smoking.

Drinking alcohol is also bad for bone health. Don’t drink, or drink only in moderation.

Talk to your doctor

Your primary care doctor can help you establish a plan to improve your bone health. Depending on your age, your health, and your risk factors, your healthcare provider may suggest a bone density test.

A bone density test determines how much bone mass you have, which is important in assessing risk for osteoporosis or fractures. Schedule an appointment with a MANA doctor in Northwest Arkansas today