Fracturing bones can be extremely painful and detrimental to your health. Although fractures heal, you never fully recover bone strength and it can affect you more as you grow older. The keys to good bone health are nutrition and exercise. Proper nutrition ensures that your body has the right elements to build strong bones and weight-bearing exercise helps you build stronger bones.
Proper nutrition is one key to building strong bones. Although calcium is the most commonly mentioned nutrient for strong bones, many other elements are also essential. Although adequate calcium is necessary for bone formation, vitamin D is essential to help your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is obtained by eating the right foods or produced by the body when skin exposed to sunlight. Good sources of calcium and vitamin D are diary products, almonds, salmon, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and sardines. Calcium supplements can also be a good source if you do not eat a well balanced diet. Women, in particular, because they are more prone to osteoporosis should be sure and consume adequate calcium through diet or daily supplements. Exposing the skin to sunlight allows your body to produce vitamin D, so during colder months when you are outside less and have less skin exposure, you should either add more foods rich in vitamin D or consider a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin C and protein are essential to help produce collagen which is important in bone healing and production of new bone tissue. Good sources of protein include meat, eggs, fish, nuts, beans and lentils, and dairy foods. Vitamin C rich foods include berries, avocado, asparagus, cantaloupe, broccoli, mango, peas, strawberries, and tomatoes. Studies have shown that as people age the amount of these nutrients in their diets tends to lessen. Likewise people who are chronically dieting may not get enough of these nutrients.
Vitamin K and Zinc are also important elements in bone production and healing. Vitamin K is necessary for the repair of bone and collagen and zinc helps avoid bone loss. Foods rich in vitamin K and Zinc include leafy green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, peaches, and onions.
If you don’t eat a well balanced diet including a variety of these foods, you may want to consider taking a daily vitamin. Except for protein all of these and many other essential nutrients can be obtained by taking a daily multivitamin. Consumption of alcohol and nicotine can weaken bones and effect the absorption of some nutrients, so a well-balanced nutrient rich diet is extremely important for anyone who drinks or smokes.
In addition to diet, regular exercise is essential to good bone health. Weight bearing exercise, in particular, can help build stronger bones and increase bone density. Exercise does not have to be intense, any weight bearing activity where your body is working against gravity will help build stronger bones and muscles. Walking, climbing the stairs, and cleaning can all help bone strength. Weight training can also boost bone health. Even minimal weight training or walking with hand and ankle weights can have a very positive effect on bone health.
The keys to fracture proofing your bones are good nutrition and exercise. Your body in constantly forming new tissue including bone tissue and the proper nutritional elements are necessary to build strong bone. In addition to nutrition, exercise can help your body form strong bone and increase bone density. Even a light workout or everyday activities can help you build stronger bones. Always check with your doctor before starting in a new exercise regime.