Bones are like the hidden superheroes of your body, quietly doing their job. They’re not just rigid structures; they’re living tissues that need attention, especially as you age.
You’ve got 206 bones inside you, and they’re always busy. They help you move, shield your organs, and stash away crucial minerals like calcium and vitamin D. Inside your bones, there’s a sponge-like substance called bone marrow that even produces your blood cells.
Despite their tough exterior, bones are in a constant state of renewal, similar to your skin cells. When you’re young, you build bone mass faster than you lose it. But as you get older, this balance shifts, and your bone mass starts to decline faster than your body can create new cells.
Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones, becomes a concern, especially for women over 50. To keep your bones strong and resilient, consider these recommendations from doctors:
- Keep Moving: Engage in activities that make your bones work against gravity, like walking, running, or playing tennis. Weight-bearing exercises help prevent your body from leaching essential minerals from your bones.
- Get Stronger: Resistance training, like lifting weights or using resistance bands, is great for building and maintaining bone health. It’s particularly beneficial for post-menopausal women.
- Practice the “90-Minute” Rule: Avoid prolonged sitting, which can harm your skeletal system. Stand up and move around every 90 minutes to stimulate circulation.
- Eat a Calcium-Rich Diet: Calcium is essential for strong bones and muscle function. Include dairy products, fruits, vegetables, tofu, soybeans, and nuts in your diet. Fortified cereals, plant-based milks, and orange juices are good sources too.
- Stay Loose: Activities that improve balance and flexibility, like yoga and tai chi, are good for your bones. They also help reduce the risk of injuries.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking reduces blood supply to your bones and interferes with bone-forming cells. Seek support to quit this habit.
- Drink in Moderation: Excessive alcohol intake weakens bone density. Limit alcohol consumption to recommended levels.
- Try Yogurt for Breakfast: Probiotics in yogurt may help maintain bone density, especially for postmenopausal women.
- Talk to Your Doctor About a Supplement: Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. If you suspect a deficiency, consult your doctor for a blood test and potential supplements.
Taking care of your bones is a lifelong endeavor. Incorporate these habits into your daily routine to keep your bones strong and resilient as you age.