Get strong bones with a healthy lifestyle and protect yourself from having weak, brittle bones when you are older. Simple things like adding more nourishing foods to your diet and getting a little sunlight can make an incredible difference when they are a part of your everyday routine. Find out how to strengthen your skeletal system today so you are not at risk for fractures and breaks in the future.
Dark leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, and kale are a good source of calcium. They are also rich in vitamin K, which calcium needs for bone building. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, low levels of vitamin K are linked with the development of osteoporosis. Enjoy milk, yogurt, and cheese, which are all excellent sources of calcium, but don’t skimp on the leafy greens if you really want to get strong bones.
Regular exercise throughout life is so important to get strong bones and keep them that way. Weight-bearing exercises, which put stress on bones and muscles, help to improve bone density and strength. Kendra Kaye Zuckerman, M.D., who directs the osteoporosis program at the Allegheny University Hospitals in Philadelphia, recommends consistent, regular exercise. That means 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Walking, jogging, and dancing are all excellent weight-bearing exercises for the lower body. Yoga, which utilizes the whole body through different poses, is another great activity to get strong, help prevent osteoporosis, and reduce stress!
To get strong bones, you need plenty of vitamin D, which promotes the absorption of calcium. You can get this nutrient from food sources such as fortified milk, salmon, and egg yolks, but the body also synthesizes it from sunlight exposure. The United States Department of Health and Human Services says that women need 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight 2 to 3 times a week for enough vitamin D. Your face, hands, and arms should be exposed. Of course, if you get strong sun exposure, you may increase your risk for skin cancer. If you are getting more than a few minutes of sunlight, be sure to wear a protective sunscreen.
Bone naturally deteriorates as the body ages. Eating right, exercising, and making sure that you are getting enough vitamin D now can help to protect you from problems once you reach the menopausal years, when the risk for osteoporosis increases. Live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle when you are young so you can enjoy an active, full life when you are older!