Bone health depends on diet, physical activity, lifestyle and many other factors. In what ways you can make bones stronger, we tell in the Healthyinfo article.
Eat less salt
Excess salt harms the musculoskeletal system. If you eat a lot of salty foods, the body will try to get rid of excess. But along with salt, it will also remove calcium, which is extremely important for the normal functioning of bones. And an excess of salt hits the heart and blood vessels, increases the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke and other serious diseases.
It is not necessary to completely refuse salt, but its consumption should be limited to 5 g per day. It is also worth removing foods that contain a lot of salt from the diet — in particular, marinades, smoked meat, chips.
Add proteins to your diet
For healthy bones, you need enough protein, because it is a source of amino acids, the building block of bone tissue. Lack of protein leads to a decrease in bone mass, threatens the development of osteoporosis. In addition, protein deficiency leads to a decrease in muscle strength, and because of weak muscles, the risk of falls increases, due to which bone fractures are likely.
Don’t drink a lot of carbonated drinks and coffee
Too much coffee and soda damages the bones — it leaches calcium from them, makes them brittle and increases the risk of fractures. Research on this issue is still underway, but it has already been proven that coffee leads to bone loss. And instead of sweet lemonade, it is better to drink a cup of milk — it has a lot of calcium.
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol reduces the absorption of calcium and increases the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, do not abuse alcohol. How much alcohol you can drink is still unknown. In the medical literature, there are different data, on average — no more than one dose of an alcoholic drink per day for women and two for men (for example, a glass of wine or a mug of beer). There is evidence that alcohol consumption should be reduced even more — to 1–2 servings of alcoholic beverages per week. But still, most experts agree that there are no safe doses of alcohol, and it is better to give up alcohol altogether.
To maintain healthy bones, their density, strength and strength, various minerals and vitamins are needed. The main, most important are:
Calcium. This mineral substance is the main material from which the skeleton is “built”. 99% of all calcium in the human body is found in bone tissue. But, in addition to bones, calcium is also involved in other important life processes. Without calcium, the normal functioning of the heart is impossible, it is necessary for muscles, the nervous system, etc.
Vitamin D. Improves calcium absorption in the intestines and ensures sufficient bone mineralization. It also strengthens the muscles and thereby reduces the risk of falls, also in old age.
Bone health also requires potassium, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins. However, there is no conclusive evidence that they need to be supplemented.
However, you should not self-medicate and get carried away with vitamin and mineral supplements, as an excess of calcium and vitamin D can be more dangerous than a shortage. Therefore, the decision to prescribe calcium and vitamin preparations should be made by the doctor based on the results of the tests. In most cases, a varied and nutritious diet is sufficient to meet the body’s needs for these important nutrients.
Rethink the first aid kit
Some medications, especially if taken for too long and in high doses, can cause calcium levels to drop in tissues. For example, this is how anticonvulsants and hormonal drugs work. If you have to take such medications, you need to discuss with your doctor the possibility of additional intake of vitamins.
Smoking reduces bone density and leads to fractures. The longer a person smokes and the more often a cigarette is applied during the day, the more significant the consequences will be. In addition, smoking affects other organs, primarily the lungs and bronchi.
Keep track of your weight
A lack of weight can be combined with a lack of calcium in the bones and cause fractures. Therefore, if the BMI is less than 18.5, you need to consult a doctor and find the cause of this condition. In particular, low weight may be associated with diseases of the digestive tract, and they in turn also reduce the absorption of calcium.
At a young age, injuries are not too dangerous — tissues heal quickly. After 50 years, even a fall from the height of your height can lead to serious consequences. Therefore, you need to be especially careful. For example, you can put non-slip mats at home, on the street — use handrails more often or purchase special support devices. And be sure to train coordination of movements and muscles, which will also help to avoid falls and injuries.
Go outside more often
Bone health depends on the amount of vitamin D in the body. But it is little supplied with food and is mainly synthesized in the skin under the influence of sunlight. Therefore, you need to go outside as often as possible during the daytime. The main thing is not to overdo it: do not be in the sun at the peak of its activity, so as not to get burned and not increase the risk of developing malignant skin tumors.
Rest is not only hours of idleness on the couch watching your favorite series. You can also relax actively: meet friends, walk with your family in the park, go on weekend hikes. The body needs to move so that the bones get enough stress.
An active lifestyle will benefit the whole body, not just bones and muscles. But not everyone can play sports. However, to maintain healthy bones, it is enough to do morning exercises regularly so that the muscles work and the blood does not stagnate. It is useful to include stretching and balance exercises in the complex.
To ride a bike
When a person pedals, not only his muscles, heart and lungs work, but also his bones. At this time, the blood supply to tissues improves, including bone, which contributes to its strengthening. However, it is important not to overdo it, because cycling is just one way to strengthen bone tissue. Riding a bike can be diluted with other activities, such as playing tennis, swimming or yoga.
Dancing trains many muscle groups at once, and also has a beneficial effect on the heart, lungs and digestive tract. They make a person literally be on his feet, strengthening bones and maintaining health.
Regular walks strengthen not only bones, but also muscles, heart and lungs. You don’t have to go long distances right away. Three short walks a day are just as good as one long walk. In the cold season, you can work out on a treadmill.
By the way, about the treadmill. Special running platforms for virtual reality have been developed. Now fans of computer games can finally get up from their computers and start moving not only virtually, getting the most real, real and considerable physical activity. True, the cost of such devices is still quite high, but the future has definitely come.
Swimming trains the muscles and gives the body the necessary load. However, it does not replace other sports when it comes to strengthening bones. But swimming will be a good alternative for those who cannot actively move: do yoga, run or walk a lot. Swimming is especially beneficial for those who are overweight or obese.
It is also very important to prevent osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle. What to do for this, read the article “Insidious osteoporosis: how to keep bones healthy.”