How Do I Make My Bones Stronger?
BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Jul 14, 2021
Aging comes with wisdom, finding your comfortable rhythm in life, and bone loss – for men and women. Your bones are the “scaffolding” that supports your entire body, granting you the freedom of motion. It also provides free access for traveling nerve signals from your brain to the rest of your body, carrying instructions for optimal functions. Unfortunately, once bone loss sets in as you get older, it becomes problematic to rebuild it, leaving you at risk for fractures and breaks.
After age 60, it can take a long time to heal a broken bone and return to your previous life quality, if ever. Many continue having trouble with bathing, eating, and walking. One study showed that only 31% of older people recovered and were able to go about their daily activities.1 And if you have other health issues, it could further complicate healing and life quality.
Bone Loss Complications to Health
Bones are in a constant state of breaking down and building up. Unfortunately, after age 30, the breaking down outpaces the building up, and you end up losing bone mass (density).2 Both men and women lose bone density, but in different bones and at varying degrees.
About 3% per decade for cortical bone (hard outer surface) and 7-11% per decade for trabecular bone (spongy inner matrix) is lost on average in both men and women.
During the first 10 years of menopause, women lose both the slow loss referred to above plus a rapid supplemental loss. Studies estimate different bones vary in losses of about 2-13% per decade for women and 3-5% for men. Men can also get osteoporosis, but it just hits a bit later because they have more bone to start.3 That means women lose about 50% of their trabecular bone and 30% of cortical bone over their lifetime. Approximately 40% of premenopausal women will experience fractures.4
When bone is lost, your height shrinks, and posture curves, adding more stress to certain areas and increasing the risk of fracturing your spine. Your neck weakens and droops, dropping your head forward. Shoulders and upper back become hunched and is called kyphosis. Carrying excess weight increases the pressure load and can bow out your legs.
Changes in posture can pinch nerves, strain muscles, pull on tendons, ligaments, change your walking gait and confidence. These changes also squeeze the internal areas for organs and can push the stomach and abdomen forward. Making it more challenging for some people to eat, breathe, or absorb adequate nutrition from food.5
Bone Healthy Foods
We all know that dairy provides Calcium, which’s good for bones. But not everyone can eat dairy without consequences, and some are lifestyle choices, like Veganism, and must find Calcium elsewhere. But bones need more than Calcium. In fact, you need Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Folic Acid, Selenium, Iron, Fluoride, and Protein for healthy bone growth. And Potassium neutralizes acid in your body that can leach Calcium from your bones. Low levels of Magnesium can cause problems with Vitamin D and bone mineralization. So balanced nutrition is the key. Foods that help fortify your bones include:6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
- Dairy: cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt
- Milks: milk, soybean milk, coconut milk, almond milk
- Fruit: citrus fruits, orange color fruits, tomatoes, mango, kiwi, blackberry, avocado,
- Dried Fruit: raisins, apricots prunes
- Vegetables Green Leafy: turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, okra, bok choy, collard greens, turnip greens
- Vegetables Orange/Yellow: carrots, cantaloupe, and squash, sweet potatoes
- Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms, mushrooms
- Meats: lean beef, chicken poultry, eggs, kidney, liver (maximum once weekly), pork, ham, turkey,
- Seafood/Fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel, pilchards, shrimp, shellfish, lobster, salmon abalone, rainbow trout,
- Legumes: beans, soya beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas
- Grains: whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal
- Soy: soybean, tofu
- Nuts: almonds, almond butter, peanuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
- Seeds: sesame seeds, tahini, sunflower seeds
As you can see, none of the above vitamins and minerals come from processed or fast foods. As you get older, poor nutrition can accelerate numerous diseases, including osteoporosis. It may cost a bit more but think of the money you’ll save on doctors, hospitals, surgeries, and meds. Not to mention the pain and aggravation. And you get to keep your independence and mobility freedom. Also, remember, as you get older, broken bones are much, much harder to heal.
The BEST Exercises for Building Bones
Exercise is critical to maintaining a healthy weight and avoid loading too much pressure on your bones and distorting your posture. And regular exercise plus taking beneficial nutrients help stimulate bone mineralization. Walking helps maintain bone health, but you need to pick up the pace and add “load” on your body to create more bone.
The Mayo Clinic recommends weight-bearing aerobic activities that work large muscle groups and increase your heart rate. These include dancing, jump rope, trampoline, jogging, and walking, but NOT biking or swimming. Hit the hills, incline, or stairs to challenge your body. This demand pushes your body to build a stronger you – including your bones. This process is called Hormesis.
Other effective workouts include muscle-strengthening activities such as lifting weights, using resistant bands, push-ups, lunges, and squats. These make your muscles work harder, making them stronger, and helps support your skeletal bones and posture. In addition, adding weights, jumps, and other high-impact routines are extremely beneficial.
However, if you’ve already got osteoporosis, start slowly with walking and increase inclines gradually. And begin with the lowest weights or resistant bands to strengthen and slowly add more. You might want to discuss a routine that’s right for you with your doctor.
Effective Supplements for Bone Health
Experts highly recommend quality supplements to help men and women enhance their nutrient intake and support healthy bone growth. Because without an adequate amount proper selection of building blocks, the osteoblasts (bone manufacturing cells) are missing the raw materials. Your bones will be created with “straw” instead of “wood planks” and become brittle. Valuable ingredients include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Adding these tips to your daily lifestyle routine could make a significant impact in protecting and improving your bone density and ensure your independence, regal posture, and living life with vitality in your golden years!