While many people do not think about bones when considering overall well-being, healthy bones are important to protect vital organs, support the body, allow movement, and store necessary nutrients, such as calcium and bone marrow. Strong, healthy bones are in a continual process of removal and regrowth. Over time, bone regrowth may slow down, resulting in the potential for bone loss. It is important to take care of your bones just as you need to the rest of your body.
Healthy Foods for Healthy Bones
Certain nutritional components of protein, vitamins, and minerals are necessary for proper bone health and regrowth. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help maintain proper bone regrowth and strength. While Vitamin D and calcium are the most commonly known nutrients for bone health, but other nutrients are needed as well. Vitamins A, D, and K, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc are all needed for proper bone health.
Exercise and Strong Bones
In addition to eating a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity is important for bone regrowth and to reduce the potential for bone loss as you age. Weight bearing exercises are helpful at building both muscle mass and bone mass. Weight bearing exercise are done while on your feet and work both the bones and large muscle groups, such as walking, jogging, dancing, aerobics, and many others. Strength training helps to increase muscle, which also helps to strengthen bone. Higher impact activities have the most benefits, but may be too stressful for weaker bones. See a bone specialist to help determine the most appropriate bone-strengthening exercises for you.
Lifestyle and Bone Health
A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way to strong, healthy bones. However, it is also important to maintain a healthy weight and to avoid certain activities, such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake, which can reduce bone mass, weaken bones, and increase a risk for fractures. If you are concerned about bone health, talk to a bone specialist to determine any risk factors for weak bones and to find out the best ways to increase your bone mass.