In the United States, experts believe that as many as 50 percent of people over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis or weak bones. What’s worse is that this figure is only expected to climb. There are numerous factors for this phenomenon such as genetics, diet, health problems, and lifestyle habits. However, poor bone density isn’t necessarily something that you have to endure. Here are some key tips for improving the strength of your bones and improving your quality of life.
Get Out More
In the battle against brittle bones, the role of adequate sun exposure is typically overlooked. A substance found in the epidermis called 7-Dehydrocholesterol converts into vitamin D3 upon exposure to UVB radiation. This nutrient is critical for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium. In fact, when calcium supplements are taken without also increasing vitamin D levels, not only do the bones not benefit, but more serious health issues may develop as well. D3 is the most active form of vitamin D, which means that it provides the largest benefit. For a Caucasian person, spending between five and 15 minutes in direct sunlight each day is believed to be sufficient for optimal D3 levels.
It’s often recommended people engage in primarily low-impact exercise, but this advice may endanger your bones. High-impact exercises, like those that involve heel strikes, has actually been proven to increase bone density throughout the entire body. Some ideal workouts for this purpose include lifting weights and anything involving jumping. Indeed, this is believed to be part of the reason why children are significantly less vulnerable to broken bones than adults. All of that time spent running, jumping and being rambunctious could help to make their bones more durable.
Reduce Sugar Intake
You hear every day about the perils of consuming refined sugar, but one thing that nobody mentions is its effects on bones. Eating large amounts of sugar depletes minerals from the body and teeth, specifically phosphorous. Phosphorous is an essential nutrient for properly absorbing calcium into bone tissue, so deficiency can lead to a weak, porous skeletal system. According to a Maple Ridge dentist from Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic, excess sugar is the leading cause of cavities and some type of gum disease. If you have a relentless sweet tooth, try eating foods like raisins, prunes, and dried apricots instead. Aside from being non-refined, these snacks also provide boron, which supports the bone-building action of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D.
As you age, it becomes more important than ever to pay attention to your bone health. Calcium supplementation is far from the only thing you can do to protect your bones over the long term. By practicing good dietary habits, getting plenty of sunshine and engaging in bone-building exercise, you can significantly reduce your risk of breaks and fractures.