Six Ways to Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy
Osteoporosis, or a decrease in bone mass, doesn’t just occur in older people. Here’s what you need to do now to make your bones as healthy as possible.
The risk of developing weak bones is pretty high, according to WebMD. In fact, one in two women and one in four men will have a fracture due to osteoporosis at some point during their lifetime. 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 hold 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.
If you want a seemingly surefire way to improve your bone density and you have six minutes a day to spare, give each of these 12 positions a whirl: tree, triangle, warrior II, side-angle, twisted triangle, locust, bridge, supine hand-to-foot I, supine hand-to-foot II, straight-legged twist, bent-knee twist and corpse pose.
The exercises that build bones involve a lot of impact, and one of those is jumping rope, according to rheumatology professor Dr. John Tobias. Switch between jump roping and running on a regular basis for a more varied workout.
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is a recipe for healthy bones, according to WebMD. 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 the coffee and soda
Studies show that there is a possible link between bone density loss and caffeinated beverages such as colas and coffee. Scientists aren’t actually quite sure why this is, but until they figure it out, drink both of these sparingly. One theory: The more coffee and soda you drink, the less likely it is that you’re drinking calcium-rich milk.
Don’t forget your milk (or substitute it with these other calcium-rich foods)
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. If you don’t drink milk, make sure you are getting a lot of these foods: kale, okra, collards, soybeans, white beans, cheese, or yogurt.
If you need one more reason to stop this toxic habit, here it is. 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, the effects of having strong bones will benefit you for decades to come.
Be sure to check out other healthy living articles.
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