Everyone knows that bones are a vital part to every human’s body but sometimes they are put on the back-burner in our minds. I have to admit, I don’t normally think about my bones on a daily basis. My muscles get most of my attention, but it is an important topic in regards to our health and wellness. Bone health is highly important for women due to the risk of osteoporosis. 90% of woman will have osteoporosis before they die. Do you want to be a part of this statistic? I sure as hell don’t. So what do we need to do to keep our bones nice and healthy? It’s quite easy with these 3 simple tips for healthy bones: Nutrition, Fitness, and Fun in the Sun.
The two key players in sustaining and promoting healthy bones are Calcium and Vitamin D. Getting the essential nutrients your body needs at a young age is vital to your bone health in the future. But lucky for us the body can continue to improve it’s Bone Mineral Density (BMD) until age 30. After age 30 you’re in the hands of nature, genetics and your lifestyle.
Vitamin D is the precursor for Calcium so it can be absorbed into the bone. Without Vitamin D calcium cannot get into the bone to be stored. Your body is constantly striving for equilibrium and balance. So when calcium is low elsewhere in the body, calcium stores in the bone will be summoned but can eventually be depleted if this continues to happen. This is what leads to osteoporosis and we don’t want that. So where can we get Vitamin D? Food, food, food!
Vitamin D Food Sources
Fortified Milk or OJ
As you can see food sources for Vitamin D are very low and give you a small amount of what you need. So try and get out in the sun and if you can’t then it’s time to get a supplement.
Calcium, as most of you know, has a key role in bone structure. But did you know it is also used to help control muscle and nerve function as well as manage acid/ base balance in our blood stream? So lets face it we really need that good ol’ Calcium in our body. Calcium can be found in foods or taken in the form of a supplement. The recommended amount of calcium can vary but ranges from 1000-1300 mg/day. Are you getting enough? Logging foods is a great way to see what your body is getting on the daily. My favorite site and app to use is MyFitnessPal.
Calcium Food Sources
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens
Fortified cereals and juices
Enriched breads, grains, and waffles
Now get your grub on with these yummy foods and continue or start making those bones happy.
Bones love when you give them there Vitamin D and Calcium but they also crave that little thing called “exercising”. Weight bearing exercise studies have been shown to increase strength, Bone Mineral Density, and improved balance. It is very easy to incorporate this into your daily routine or already existing workout plan. Really anything that bears weight on your body helps your bones stay healthy as well your muscles and surrounding structures.
Weight Bearing Exercises
Sports of all kind
Dancing (get your groove on)
Strength Training (weights, resistance bands, own body weight)
Fun in the Sun
Another way to get your Vitamin D is the sun. This is the most common way to get Vitamin D and sometimes it can take as little as 15 mins to get you recommended daily intake (~600 IU/day) depending on how light or dark your skin may be. Not everyone has access to be outside for more than 15 minutes a day or live in a region where the sun doesn’t really like to show itself. This is where food and supplements come in. The best Vitamin D supplement is Vitamin D3, because it’s the type that comes from the sun. Most Vitamin D supplements are D3 but double check the label to make sure. So get outside for a half hour everyday and you’ll be sure to soak up the precious vitamin.
What do you do for bone health? Please share your thoughts and comments below.