By the time you turn 30, your bone mass and strength is the highest it will ever be. For several years after that most people will maintain that level. A few years after menopause, women experience a dramatic loss of bone mass. By the time they reach 65- to 70-years-old, women and men are losing bone mass at the same rate. Approximately 52 million Americans have osteopenia (low bone density) and osteoporosis (brittle bones). While your sex, race and hormones all impact your personal rate of bone loss and are out of your control, you can influence your bone health with your nutrition and exercise levels.
What is Bone?
Bone is a living and growing tissue that’s made up of collagen that creates a flexible framework and calcium phosphate which is responsible for adding strength. Your bones and teeth have more than 99% of your body’s calcium. Through a process called bone remodeling when you are a child and teenager, your body creates new bone tissue and absorbs old tissue. Once you reach 30, your bone bank account from bone remodeling starts to have more bone withdrawals than deposits which leads to bone loss.
5 Tips for Bone Health
1. Eat your veggies
You’ve heard the benefits of eating your veggies a thousand times, but now you can add enhance bone health to the list. Veggies are an abundant source of vitamin C which helps to stimulate bone-forming cells so they can help prevent bone loss.
2. Take supplements
Most Americans do not get enough vitamin D and it helps your body absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but taking a supplement can help maintain optimal levels. Since collagen is the main protein found in bones, a collagen supplement might also help.
3. Consume protein and calcium-rich foods
Since 50% of your bones are protein in the form of collagen, ensuring you eat enough protein daily is important to maintain your bone health. Your body can only absorb so much calcium at one time, so it’s best to eat calcium-rich foods throughout the day so what you eat gets used. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg for most adults; 1,200 mg for women over 50 and everyone over 70. Good sources of calcium-rich foods include dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), seeds (poppy, chia, sesame), sardines, beans, lentils, almonds and calcium-fortified foods such as some cereal, bread and tortillas.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
It is ideal to maintain a stable, healthy weight for healthy bones. Being too thin or too heavy can be problematic for your bones as can cycles of weight loss and weight gain.
5. Weight-bearing exercise
One of the most effective ways to prevent bone loss is to include weight-bearing activities in your exercise plan that force you to work against gravity. Since bone is living tissue it can become stronger with exercise. Walking, tennis, dancing and Pilates are all forms of weight-bearing activities that help keep your bones healthy.
It’s important to be mindful of maintaining your bone health and a Pilates session, Functional Fitness or OOV class is a great way to get the weight-bearing exercise your bones need. Please call or text Taylor Pilates and Fitness at 303-472-6743 to schedule your next session.