Bones tend to degenerate as we grow older, especially in women, thus making it vital to keep them healthy. Just like a building requires a strong framework of steel and concrete to hold it all together, it is essential that our bones are kept strong as they provide structure, protect organs and enable mobility in our body. Below mentioned are some ways to keep our bones healthy – in both children as well as adults.
Watch your diet
Bones need nutrients such as calcium and vitamins D, C and K for their upkeep. Foods such as low-fat dairy are rich sources of calcium and also contain some quantities of Vitamin D. For those who are lactose intolerant, certain non-dairy sources of calcium include fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and also tofu and white beans. Fruits and vegetables are also full of these vitamins and minerals, such as kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage. Sources of Vitamin C are red and green bell peppers, oranges, pineapples, Indian gooseberries and strawberries. If your diet is severely lacking in these nutrients, you may also have to take supplements.
However, do note that overdosing on calcium may be counterproductive for the body, thus always consult with your doctor before taking any oral medicines.
You must also take care to avoid foods containing saturated fat and too much sugar or salt, which have no nutritional value as such. An overall balanced diet can not only improve bone health but is also good for the body. You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods; the key is to exercise moderation.
Love it or hate it, you just cannot avoid it! Don’t fret though, with so many options around, you are sure to find something fun and exciting to engage your body. Human body is like any other machine, the more you put it to use, the better it will function. The idler you keep it; the harder it will be to get it functioning right. Choose from strength/weight-training exercises, yoga, Pilates, brisk walking, dancing or aerobics. Weight training in particular, works towards making the bones strong by promoting cell growth. Consult a doctor before beginning a workout regimen and exercise with caution.
Soak in the sun
Calcium absorption in the body happens due to presence of Vitamin D, which is produced by the body in response to sunshine. Depending on the topography of the area where you live and your skin, sun exposure time can range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. However, always protect your skin with sunscreen. You could also include foods rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish (salmon), egg yolks, cheese and fortified products such as milk, juice etc.
Smoking is injurious not only to your overall health but also reduces the bone mass. Smokers run a higher risk of fractures than non-smokers. Women who smoke are at a greater risk of loss in bone mass.
Increased amount of alcohol consumption increases risk of bone loss. Also, drinks such as soda, lower bone density. Therefore, the number of drinks should be limited to one in a day for women and up to two a day for men.