It’s true that we lose bone mass as we age. But there’s plenty you can do to keep your bones in tiptop shape. And since this week is Healthy Bones Action Week, we’re sharing three major steps to help keep your bones strong and healthy as you age.
Step 1: Weight-bearing exercise
Physical activity is crucial to building and maintaining strong bones, particularly the weight-bearing variety, such as walking, running and strength training. This is because weight-bearing activity puts stress on the bones, stimulating them to rebuild and strengthen.
Step 2: Sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake
The two main nutrients that contribute to strong bones are calcium and vitamin D. Yoghurt, almonds and tinned sardines (when you eat the soft bones) are all excellent sources of calcium. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in foods such as some mushrooms, fish and egg yolks. But, mostly, our body makes it in response to sunlight exposure. So if you live in a location that doesn’t get much sun, you may need to take supplements. Always check with your doctor before supplementing.
Step 3: Eat a wholefoods diet
The best way to get the nutrients you need for strong bones is to fill your plate with wholefoods. Think nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and fruit and vegetables. Go for variety to ensure you cover your nutritional bases. And avoid processed foods, because they have no nutritional value – even those that have been fortified with nutrients, as they’re never that same as wholefoods containing naturally occurring nutrients.