Bones are one of the most, if not the most important parts of our body, yet it is easy to overlook them. We can rarely see any of our bones, and can tend to forget they are the main structure of our human bodies. As we get older, existing bone breaks down faster than new bone is made, increasing risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition that reduces bone density and raises chance of fractures. This is why staying strong is so important as we cannot afford to break a bone and risk being hospitalised or in chronic pain.
Luckily, there are ways to improve your bone density, without resorting to medications that can have nasty side effects.
Here’s 7 of the best we have found.
1. Weight-bearing exercises
It might sound like it will be difficult if your bones are weak, but in fact weight-bearing exercises are great for improving bone density as bones help to support muscles and vice versa. Try to climb stairs or walk uphill if you can’t lift weights.
2. Improve balance and posture
A fall can turn into a trip to hospital if your bones aren’t strong and your balance is off. Tai chi, yoga, or Pilates can strengthen your legs while improving your balance. Try to engage in one of these activities twice a week.
3. Increase protein intake
Collagen, a certain type of protein, helps strengthen bones. If you’re protein deficient, bones can become brittle, leading to breakage no matter how much calcium they contain. Great sources of protein include organic grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, and legumes, nuts, and seeds.
4. Get more sleep
You may have always been a light sleep with just five hours’ sleep, however this time is crucial for repairing your body. Boost your sleep quality by reducing stress – yoga is great for this, as well as meditation.
5. Increase levels of Vitamin D
You can buy vitamin D supplements, but the best way to get vitamin D is from the big ol’ sun! Vitamin D has so many benefits, including increasing the absorption of calcium. You can drink or eat as much dairy as you want, but you won’t see the pay off unless you have enough vitamin D to convert it.
6. Stretch it out
Finish your workouts with stretching to help avoid bad posture later on if you have osteoporosis. Lengthening tight muscles also reduces back pain and promotes a healthy spine, even if it mightn’t always feel like that! Remember to perform stretches slowly and smoothly to a point of stretch, not pain.
7. Eat your fruit and veg
Many scientific studies show that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is vital for your health. Women aged 60-83 years had significant positive associations between spine bone mineral content and fruit intake, according to a recent study. It can be as simply as doubling fruit intake and being sure what we’re putting our bodies will benefit us.