Bones are the foundation of the body.
While it’s easy to take for granted, neglecting their care can lead to bone-related conditions that significantly impact your quality of life. The good news is there are several lifestyle habits that, when incorporated into your daily routine, can help you maintain and improve bone health at every age and stage. Let’s dive in.
What Happens to Our Bones as We Age?
Aging is a natural process that affects all aspects of our bodies, including the bones. Understanding these age-related changes allows us to take proactive steps to nurture a strong foundation for a lifetime.
Bone Density Decline
Bones naturally go through structural changes that affect their shape and composition. As we age, they face a tough challenge: a gradual decline in density and strength. It starts around the age of 30 when the breakdown of bone outpaces its formation, resulting in decreased bone mass. Additionally, shifts in bone alignment can result in unstable joints and a higher susceptibility to fractures.
Cartilage and Joint Changes
Age-related changes in bones are directly connected to the condition of your cartilage. Cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions your joints, gradually wears down over time. This can lead to less flexibility and lubrication– causing joint stiffness, discomfort, and even conditions like osteoarthritis.
Slowed Bone Regeneration
Bone regeneration, the process of replacing old or damaged bone tissue with new, healthy bone, slows down as we age. This means that when we experience injuries, the healing process may take significantly longer. Overcoming this challenge is key to a faster and smoother recovery from injury.
Building a Solid Foundation for Lifelong Bone Health
Aging doesn’t have to mean fragile bones and limited mobility. It’s important to recognize that many factors, including age, gender, genetics, and lifestyle choices, influence bone health. So, how can we ensure that this framework stays strong and resilient? Check out these bone-boosting tips.
1. Escape the Stress Cycle
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s work, relationships, or unexpected challenges, we all experience it. And when we’re stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Now, cortisol isn’t all bad. It helps us handle stress and maintain balance. The problem arises when levels go haywire and disrupt the process of bone remodeling, which causes our bone density to take a hit.
How can we protect our bones from the damaging effects of stress? The answer lies in healthy stress management. Engaging in activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and pursuing hobbies you enjoy can do wonders for reducing stress levels.
2. Stay Hydrated with a Multi-Mineral Formula
When you’re hydrated, your body maintains the perfect balance of water and nutrients required for healthy bones. Water helps deliver those key minerals, like zinc, to your bones while flushing out toxins that could harm them. Ready to take your morning water routine to the next level? Then it’s time to consider adding a multi-mineral formula.
Minerals like magnesium go hand-in-hand with calcium to help build and fortify your bones. They work together to enhance bone density, while magnesium also activates vitamin D, a vital nutrient for calcium absorption. Then there’s zinc and manganese, which promote bone formation and collagen production. With a balanced blend of minerals, a liquid supplement offers a comprehensive approach to supporting bone health. And the best part? Unlike pills, multi-mineral formulas get to work faster and quickly penetrate your cells, ensuring rapid absorption.
*Always consult your healthcare professional before significantly changing your supplement regimen.
3. Build Strong Bones Through Fitness
A sedentary lifestyle is another detrimental factor that can lead to weakened bones, but regular physical activity delivers several benefits to your body. How does exercise strengthen bones and muscles? Let’s highlight three types:
Weight-bearing exercises for beginners, such as walking, jogging, and dancing, require your body to work against gravity, stimulating bone remodeling. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, which includes weight-bearing exercises.
You can increase bone density and muscle strength by using weights or resistance bands. It’s recommended to include strength training exercises 2-3 times per week, focusing on major muscle groups. Squats, lunges, and push-ups are excellent choices that target multiple muscle groups and support overall bone health.
Balance and Flexibility Exercises:
Maintaining balance and flexibility is crucial for reducing the risk of falls and fractures. Activities like yoga and tai chi improve posture and stability, helping to prevent injuries. These low-impact exercises also aid in maintaining bone density.
Need a more in-depth explainer? You may be interested in checking out “Heart Healthy Activities,” where we highlight some of the best types of exercise for total body health.
4. Break Free from Bad Behaviors
Improving your bone health requires embracing positive changes. But certain lifestyle habits can undermine your efforts, including tobacco and alcohol.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
If you’re a smoker or tend to indulge in excessive alcohol consumption, it’s time to take a step back and think about your bone health. Studies have shown that smoking can hinder your body’s ability to absorb essential minerals. Similarly, drinking too much alcohol can have a negative impact, ultimately leading to thin and brittle bones. By quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake, you can significantly contribute to the vitality of your bones.
Be Mindful of Medications
Certain medications like long-term corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and specific cancer treatments can have adverse effects. If you’re taking any of these, consult your healthcare provider to discuss potential alternative measures to protect your bone health.
5. Make Fall Prevention a Priority
When it comes to preserving bone health, preventing falls is crucial, especially for older adults. Take proactive measures to minimize your risk by creating a safe environment. Start by removing any clutter and securing rugs. Install grab bars in bathrooms and improve lighting as needed.
6. Supercharge your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D and calcium have a unique relationship. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium, which is critical for building and maintaining strong bones. You see, even if you consume enough calcium-rich foods, it won’t do any good without enough Vitamin D to make it work its magic. Vitamin D regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood, ensuring they’re just right for bone formation. Studies have shown that adequate Vitamin D levels can help prevent bone loss, reduce the risk of fractures, and even improve muscle function.
7. Unwind with Deep Sleep
While you snooze, your bones get to work repairing themselves and absorbing important minerals. Deep sleep also promotes the release of growth hormone, which plays a vital role in bone-building processes. So, next time you’re tempted to sacrifice it, remember that it impacts far more than energy levels.
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your bones time to replenish. Creating a cozy, sleep-friendly environment and sticking to a consistent sleep routine allows your body to do its bone-boosting work while you catch some well-deserved rest.
8. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is critical for the well-being of your bones. Carrying excess weight adds pressure on bones and joints, making them more vulnerable to wear and tear. On the flip side, being underweight can deprive your bones of essential nutrients, weakening them over time.
The answer lies in finding your body’s sweet spot–a healthy weight that suits your unique frame. But keep in mind, it’s not just about the number on the scale. Engaging in weight-bearing exercises, nourishing yourself with a balanced diet, and taking the right supplements will give your bones the fuel they need to stay healthy long-term.
9. Get Regular Bone Health Checkups
Prevention is always better, and regular bone health checkups can help identify potential issues early on. Consult with your healthcare professional to assess your bone health and discuss appropriate measures for maintaining or improving it. Based on factors like your age, gender, and risk factors, they may suggest a bone density test and other lifestyle changes.
Yes, healthy bones promote good posture and balance, allowing us to move freely– but they also do so much more. Our bones play an important role in protecting organs like the heart and lungs. Plus, they store essential minerals that our nerves and muscles need to function properly. So, taking care of them isn’t just about their well-being, it’s about keeping your entire body in top shape. By following these simple tips, you can support your bones for years to come!
*Ask our Customer Service team how minerals help support healthy bones and joints!