• 20/06/2024 08:19

Bone Density: How to Strengthen Your Bones with Exercise and Nutrition

To remain mobile and independent as we age, we need strong bones. They provide vital support to our muscles and organs, protect against injury and fractures, and even influence our posture, preventing us from hunching over and experiencing back pain. However, work needs to start now if you want to give yourself the best chance of living a long, healthy life. How to strengthen bones naturally?

ContentWhat factors cause low bone density?How to strengthen bones through sportsHow to strengthen bones through nutrition

Aging itself causes loss of bone density (we typically start losing bone density around age 35), but women are at increased risk of low bone density due to their smaller frames and fluctuating levels of estrogen, which protects them. When we reach menopause, estrogen disappears and our risk of developing osteoporosis (a condition in which bones break easily) increases. But don't worry. WomanEL is here to help you.

What factors cause low bone density?

In simple terms, bone density is the volume of bone tissue inside our bones. This is a measure of the mineral content of bone tissue, especially calcium and phosphorus, which contribute to its strength and rigidity.

Although low bone density (a condition known as osteopenia) can eventually lead to osteoporosis, the problem for healthcare professionals is that osteopenia rarely causes symptoms, so the only way to determine if there is a problem is to measure your bone density with a scan , known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). However, since the early stages of bone density loss do not cause symptoms, it is important to take a preventative approach to bone health as you age.

What may increase your risk of bone density loss

  • Age ;
  • perimenopause;
  • hypothalamic amenorrhea;
  • eating too much salt;
  • a sedentary lifestyle;
  • smoking;
  • being underweight.

Regular use of steroids medications (including corticosteroids) and untreated premature menopause can also contribute to weakened bones. Research has shown that air pollution may even play a role.

How to strengthen dice using sports

Most of our bone mass is formed by the time we reach our 20s. That's why Dr. Luke Powles tells Stylist that the best time to increase bone density is during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. However, he also says that you can significantly improve your bone mass with a varied diet and regular exercise.

Weight-bearing exercise, such as weightlifting, running and dancing, will improve bone health. Once you reach 35, bone density begins to gradually decline, so it's important to do plenty of muscle-strengthening exercises before and after to stay strong – ideally twice a week. Dr. Powles adds that we need to remember to target our workouts to all areas of the body, from the arms and legs to the core and back.

Marylebone osteopath Anisha Joshi agrees, telling us that increased sedentary behavior has become one of the biggest barriers to improving bone health. Lifting weights or walking with lunges, squats and dumbbell presses can also help strengthen your bones. To get maximum benefit, it is important to perform these exercises slowly and in a controlled manner with good form.

Activities like walking and tennis also help us maintain bone mass because they force you to work against gravity. As an added bonus, they improve coordination, muscle strength and balance, all of which help us prevent falls and fractures.

How to strengthen your bones with nutrition

Dairy products are not the only thing that contains calcium, Source: freepik.com

Every cereal box and dairy advertisement will tell you that calcium is critical to strong bones. Although calcium supports bone health, vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb this calcium. Calcium comes from more than just milk. Other good sources include leafy green vegetables, tofu, soybeans, soy drinks, nuts and fish such as sardines.

Most of vitamin D is absorbed by our skin through exposure to sunlight, but it also comes from food. When it comes to eating for strong bones, Joshi says it's crucial to stock up on the following foods:

  • Eggs;
  • Oily fish;
  • Rice or oat drinks;
  • Sesame seeds;
  • Beans;
  • Fortified breakfast cereals;
  • Fortified soybeans;
  • < li>Dried fruit

Dr Powles explains that supplements can be a great way to make up for any deficiencies. This is especially important for those of us who live in cloudy climates. He suggests choosing a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D. When it comes to calcium, the amount varies at different stages of our lives. But in general, most adults should aim to consume between 700 and 1,000 mg of calcium each day.

To make your menopause go more smoothly, do the following exercises. They are safe!

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