In our youth we tend to take them for granted, but it is only in our later years, when the aches and creaks manifest themselves, and perhaps a fracture immobilizes us that we realize the value of good, strong, healthy bones.
If you haven’t given bone health its due attention, start now with these tips to build and maintain good bone health.
1. Calcium intake
Low fat dairy such as milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese and so on is one of the best sources of calcium and a regular and adequate intake of calcium is imperative for building and maintaining good health.
For vegans who do not eat dairy, consider having your doctor prescribe a calcium supplement.
2. Adequate protein
Proteins are supposed to be building blocks of the body. Also a protein deficiency can hinder calcium absorption.
So have a protein rich diet but do not rely too much on meat for this. Have healthy lean cuts of meat and eat this in moderation (small portions and fewer times in a week).
3. Take a bone mineral density test
This test helps to determine what your bone health is and gauge risk of problems that could occur in the near future so that corrective action if any required, can be taken.
4. Kick bad habits
Smoking is bad for everyone and everything it would seem. One more reason to give up smoking is the fact that it can directly or indirectly harm bones as well. Also no binge drinking – moderation being the key here as well – rule of thumb; not more than one drink a day for women and no more than two for men.
5. Resistance exercises
Research and personal experience both point to the fact that resistance exercises involving weights, resistance bands and so on can very significantly enhance bone strength and even bone mass. Even other exercises that increase balance and endurance such as Pilates and yoga are good for the bones.
6. Check family history
This helps you to get a realistic estimate of how strong your bones will be as you age. Preventive action can be taken if you have a higher than average risk.
7. Reduce salt intake
We have all heard that too much salt is bad for us; but did you know that it causes calcium from our bones to get excreted out along with urine? Well that is true and is just one more reason to limit the amount of salt eaten.