6 Ways to Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy

Osteoporosis - a decrease in bone mass - doesn’t just occur in older people. Here’s what you need to do now to keep your bones healthy.

Adult woman practicing yoga at home to improve her bone health.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of developing weak bones is largely dependent upon family history, body frame size, and dietary factors. Your bones are in consistent and constant states of regeneration, but this process begins to slow after your early 20s. As you continue to age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created; if your bones are healthy in your youth, you’re more likely to avoid osteoporosis as you age.

Although osteoporosis doesn’t usually set in until your mid-sixties to seventies, what you do several decades before makes a difference in the health of your bones.

Related: 7 Foods Packed with Vitamin C

So, regardless of your age, here are some simple ways you can build healthy bones now to avoid the onset of osteoporosis.

Consistently do yoga

In 2005, Dr. Loren M. Fishman, a physiatrist at Columbia University, began a decade-long study, according to the New York Times. He was trying to determine the effects of yoga on bone health. For ten years, his participants did 12 yoga poses either daily or every other day, and held each pose for 30 seconds.

At the end of the decade, all 227 participants who were moderately or completely compliant with the practice had improved bone density.

A 2021 systematic review of related studies revealed that Dr. Loren M. Fishman’s findings still hold true. Eleven studies with a total of 591 participants between 45 and 78 were included in the review which concluded that there is a positive correlation between yoga and improved bone density.

Jump rope

The exercises that build bones involve a lot of impact, and one of those is jumping rope, according to a PubMed Central publication. Switch between jumping rope and running on a regular basis to spice up your workout routine.

Eat fish

A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is a recipe for healthy bones. Salmon, along with most other fish, is packed full of vitamin D. You can also find vitamin D in liver, cheese, egg yolks, oatmeal, yogurt, and some fortified foods like orange juice.

Cut back on soft drinks

Studies show that there is a link between bone density loss and “excessive intake of phosphoric acid” – an acid that is found soda. Soft drink consumption is directly associated with fractures.

Eat lots of calcium-rich food

The key is to get plenty of calcium-rich foods. And it’s not just milk that provides calcium—green leafy veggies like broccoli and spinach are good sources. Make sure you are getting a lot of these foods: kale, okra, collards, soybeans, white beans, cheese, or yogurt.

Related: Improve Your Balance, Age Gracefully

Don’t smoke

If you need one more reason to drop the smoking habit, this is it. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, several studies link smoking as one of the risk factors to osteoporosis.

So, sit up straight and start taking care of those bones today. With just a few lifestyle changes you can have improved bone health for the rest of your life.


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