When you think of bone health, older adults probably come to mind. It’s true that seniors can struggle with bone density as they age, but you don’t have to be over age 65 to care about your bone health!
Our skeletal system is the framework for our bodies, so it deserves attention at every age. Whether you’re an athlete who wants to stay on the field for as long as possible, you’re a parent who wants to be able to get up and down off the floor to play with your kids with ease, or you’re an older adult who wants to stay active well into your golden years, you would do well to follow these bone health tips.
See a Doctor if You’re Experiencing Pain
Although many people put it off, one of the best things you can do for your health is visit the doctor regularly. That includes visiting your doctor for annual checkups, but it also includes visiting your doctor at the first sign of trouble.
Many orthopedic conditions are related. For example, it isn’t uncommon to experience carpal tunnel if you have a pinched nerve in the neck. A rotator cuff tear could also be causing pain, while a hip and a knee problem could be related.
The only way to know for sure is to visit a doctor. They can get to the root of your problem and provide you with personalized solutions so one problem doesn’t turn into another and another.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Dairy in Your Diet
Calcium is important for strong bones. It is important to men, but it is especially important to women. In addition, there are certain times in our lives when getting enough calcium is even more important. A supplement can be extremely helpful, but so can making sure you have plenty of dairy in your diet.
Studies have shown that dairy consistently leads to improved bone health. Cheese is one way to add more dairy to your diet, as is drinking more milk. You can also find calcium in surprising foods, like leafy greens and fish.
Make Sure You Get Plenty of Vitamin D
It isn’t enough to make sure you get enough dairy in your diet. Without vitamin D, your body is unable to absorb it and it is passed straight through your system.
That’s why you have to make sure you get plenty of vitamin D, whether you get calcium from your diet or from a supplement. Taking a vitamin D supplement can help, especially in the winter, but going out in the sun can help a lot too. Choosing milk fortified with vitamin D can provide you with calcium and this important vitamin at the same time, all without having to give it much thought.
Remain Physically Active Throughout Your Life
There are so many reasons to make sure you stay physically active throughout your life! From maintaining a healthy weight to keeping your figure, supporting brain health, and feeling a sense of purpose, there is no shortage of good reasons to go outside. It turns out maintaining healthy bones is another good reason!
Exercise has the power to keep your bones strong by improving bone structure, strength, and density. Some of the best exercises to achieve the best bone health include:
- Weight bearing exercises, like walking, jumping rope, or playing soccer
- Resistance exercises, like lifting light weights or using stretchy bands
- Stretching exercises can help you stay limber, avoid falls, and ease pain
Keep an Eye on the Medications You Take
Medications can increase your quality of life, but they also have the potential to leave you with some serious side effects. For some medications, that means compromised bone health.
Some medications, like corticosteroids for asthma, anti-cancer drugs, and antidepressants have the potential to affect your bones in a negative way. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the side effects of all the medications you’re taking. If bone health is a concern for you, bring it up with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a different medication or an alternative treatment with a smaller impact on your bone health.
Don’t wait until your golden years to care for your bone health! Make it part of your routine early and continue these healthy habits as you age. If you do, you’ll be able to do all the things you love and maintain your independence for as long as possible.