7 Causes of Weak Bones & How To Strengthen Them!
Bones. We have an astonishing 206 of them each! They are, ounce for ounce, stronger than steel, and without them, we wouldn’t be much use! But unfortunately, as we get older, our bones begin to lose density, become weaker and are more prone to breaks and damage.
We all know that calcium keeps our bones and teeth strong, but there are other ways to improve the might of your bones, and keep your joints in youthful, tip-top condition!
But first, let’s recap what bones are, and what can cause weakness in them apart from aging…
Our bones are mostly made of collagen, and they are living, changing, growing tissues in our bodies. Strengthened by calcium, they provide the framework and support for all of our vital organs and functions. Most adults reach their peak bone mass in their late 20s, and after 35 your bone tissue will very slowly decrease. But even if you’re past that age marker, it’s NEVER too late to improve and preserve your bone health!
By strengthening your bones and preventing future weakening at any age, you can save yourself from things like osteoporosis and the risk of broken bones.
So, what can cause weak bones?
Women are more at risk of osteoporosis than men, due to their hormone makeup. As estrogen levels decrease, our bones start to lose strength and become more brittle. This is why it’s even more important to take care of your bones if you’re a woman close to menopause.
Calcium and Vitamin D are the two key components to grow stronger, more resilient bones. They are the bone-building-blocks! But over 15% of adults in America are deficient in these two nutrients. A healthy, varied diet is crucial for providing other vital nutrients like magnesium, vitamin B, zinc and boron, too. As we get older, our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food also lessens, so it’s important to keep a check on your diet and supplementing with multi-vitamins or calcium tablets if necessary.
For bones to stay strong, they need to be put through a bit of force! Exercise, especially weight/resistance training, is paramount to optimizing bone strength, and the secret is to keep it varied. Functional movements like lunges, squats, burpees, and circuits will ensure all of your bones are kept moving, and you need to exercise at least 3 times a week for best results.
Most of us spend far too much time sitting down – whether that’s at work at your desk, or at home on the couch! People often ignore their daily conditions until it’s too late, but a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with the constant head-bow of smartphone users, can put our spine and other bones in real jeopardy. Getting a regular bone alignment check is the best preventative measure for future conditions.
Keeping flexible by stretching regularly will help keep your bones and muscles working together smoothly. If your muscles are tight, it will have a negative impact on your joints. Try to add a 5-minute stretching routine or some simple yoga. For the 6 Simple Poses You Can Do Before Bed, head over to our blog!
6. Medical Health
Conditions such as coeliac disease, diabetes, and other gastro illnesses can affect how much calcium and nutrients are absorbed in the body, and therefore how prone your bones are to weaknesses. Hormone or thyroid diseases can also increase the risk of weak bones, so it’s important to increase your calcium intake if you suffer from any of these.
7. Our Genes
Weak bones are genetic… sorry, kids! If you know elder relatives that suffer from any degenerative bone disease, then take it as an early warning sign to take bone-strengthening action today!
How Can You Strengthen Them?
Everyone knows that calcium is essential to bone health, but collagen, protein, and vitamins C, D, and E are, too! Here’s how you can protect and support your bones for the future:
Protein, Protein, Protein
There’s a reason why protein is so popular with body-builders! Thanks to its incredible growth and repair properties, upping your protein intake can help fortify bones, build muscle and increase the collagen levels in your body. Try adding lean protein like turkey, chicken, white fish and nuts & seeds into your diet for an easy and delicious protein hit!
Eat More Zinc
Essential for collagen synthesis, zinc will increase the body’s natural levels of bone-building-blocks and keep your skeleton strong. Seafood, almonds and dark, leafy greens are rich in zinc, so try to add a few of these into your daily diet.
A good ol’ glass of OJ in the morning will increase your vitamin C levels and help build our levels of collagen in the body. Berries, peppers, broccoli, and spinach are also high in this essential bone-building vitamin and will help keep your bones healthy.
For vitamin C to work most effectively, it needs vitamin E to produce the most collagen in the body. Almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower oil are great sources of vitamin E and are easy to incorporate into your meals.
Our bones are extremely important, and the more we look after them now, the better our chances are of avoiding degenerative diseases in the future. Easy dietary additions and a weekly exercise regimen are all you need to ensure a stronger skeleton and healthy joints. Make some changes today to look after your bones... future you will thank you!
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