It is important to build strong bones to offset the natural loss of bone density due to aging. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, over 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density, placing them at increased risk for potentially fatal fractures.
Here are some ways you can build better bones:
- Eat cheese and yogurt. According to a recent study published in BMC Public Health, people who eat cheese and yogurt have a 25 to 35 percent lower risk of hip fractures than those who consume little cheese or yogurt. The same reduced risk, however, did not apply to drinking plain milk because of the fermentation process to make these foods, which breaks down sugar molecules. Cheese and yogurt also contain calcium which plays a primary role in boosting bone strength and slowing down bone loss.
- Increase your intake of vitamin D. This important nutrient is responsible for transporting the calcium into the cells. While most people link vitamin D to sun exposure, it can also be found in milk, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs.
- Take up strength training exercises. According to Medical Daily, even though aerobic exercise is recommended, not enough people are taking up weight bearing exercise. While walking can strengthen your heart, it cannot strengthen your muscles and bones without some form of resistance exercise such as tennis, training with weights, or even simple squats and pushups.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. In a study of obese adolescents, researchers found their excess fat triggered inflammation that caused weakening of the bones. It is also known underweight individuals, particularly women, are prone to poor bone mineral density. So, maintaining a healthy weight is one key to protecting your bones.
- Get enough sleep. Many recent studies have outlined the devastating effects lack of sleep can have on your health and weak bones are included. Adults should aim for seven to nine hours nightly. One study found that people who slept for only nearly five hours a night had bones that were more susceptible to fracture. Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin discovered a link between chronic lack of sleep and abnormalities in the development in bone and bone marrow.
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