When older adults break a bone, the stakes are high. Some don’t recover for as much as 10 years to their pre-fracture lifestyles.
The top culprit for broken bones among seniors is falling down. Falls can be the result of poor balance and overall body strength.
Learning how to get strong bones is one way to reduce the incidents of broken bones as you age. Check out these top 10 ways to build healthy bones.
1. Consume More Calcium
Did you know that calcium is actually the main mineral found in the bones? Getting enough calcium in your diet is one tried and true method to promote bone health.
Bone cells are constantly being replenished in the body making it important to constantly keep your calcium intake relatively high. This fact is especially important for children whose bones are both growing and replenishing at the same time.
2. Get More Vitamin D
Calcium alone can’t cure bone loss alone. The best way for the body to absorb calcium from foods is through vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common. To increase your intake of vitamin D, get outside more.
The sunlight is a great source of vitamin D along with fatty fish and cheeses. Milk is also an excellent source of vitamin D when paired with calcium.
If your vitamin D deficiency is really severe, talk with your doctor about supplements that can help your body maintain optimal levels.
3. Eat Vitamin K Rich Foods
Anyone pursuing how to get strong bones will need to know about vitamin K. Vitamin K is usually linked to helping the body form blood clots, but it is a big help in preventing the body from losing calcium.
According to WebMD, you can find vitamin K in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
4. Strength Exercises
High impact, weight training exercises are great for building stronger bones. In older adults, these exercises can also help with increasing bone density.
Strength training exercises are also helpful in building stronger bones if you need a lower-impact alternative. High impact training can be difficult on the joints especially if you don’t have a long history of working out.
5. Get Enough Protein
Protein is important for bone health as you age. Studies show that high protein diets can mean a faster recovery after a bone fracture and fewer medical complications.
Adults are also less likely to experience a hip fracture if they consume high protein diets. To be effective, however, high protein diets should be paired with high calcium intake.
6. Drink Less Caffeine
Caffeine has its place. A good cup of joe can work wonders on a Monday morning.
But when if you’re wondering how to get strong bones, avoiding caffeine is a good start. Too much caffeine interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
With calcium being such a precious commodity in our bones, it’s not worth risking it by drinking too much caffeine. In older women, drinking a cup of coffee each day could lead to bone loss.
7. Keep Up the Calories
Low-calorie diets are not good options for maintaining good bone health. If you want to lose weight, try changing the foods you eat instead of reducing your caloric intake.
Eat full, mineral-rich meals to increase your chances of getting the right combination your body needs to increase bone strength. Vitamins and minerals work together to create the perfect bone density cocktail.
Turn to fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal to balance out your diet. If weight is an issue, focus on exercise instead.
You get the double benefit of improving bone and muscle strength while helping your body burn off calories needed to get to a healthy weight.
8. Take Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements can be helpful in building healthy bones. Consider taking collagen supplements to increase this protein in the body.
In addition to helping to boost your bone density, collagen is great for the skin, hair, and nails. The muscles in your body depend on collagen for support since collagen is a major component of connective tissue like ligaments and joints.
9. Drink Less Alcohol
Heavy alcohol drinkers prevent their bodies from fully processing its vitamin D. With vitamin D deficiency so common, it’s important to avoid any habits that interfere with its intake.
Reducing your alcohol intake is one of the best ways to avoid any interference with vitamin D in the body allowing it to create stronger bones over time. For women, this means no having more than one drink per day.
For men, this equates to two drinks per day for men.
10. Know Your Family History
Improving bone health isn’t the same for everyone. Your methods of how to get strong bones can vary based on your family’s medical history.
Bone health is genetic which means you might need to spend twice as much time focused on building bone density if your family has a history of getting osteoporosis.
If there are few to no incidents of osteoporosis, you won’t have to worry as much.
Now You Know How to Get Strong Bones
Changing your lifestyle is one of the tried and true strategies of how to get strong bones. Upgrade your diet and exercise practices to support your bone health.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to get protein while improving your calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K intake. Fruits and veggies are also a good source of collagen.
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