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Natural Ways to Maintain Healthy Bones
Most of us know that good health involves eating right and exercising in order to reduce our risks of serious diseases but we often take for granted the importance of doing these things in order to maintain healthy bones. When your bone density begins to be reduced (after the age of 20 when it reaches its peak), you could end up running the risk of having fractures and even developing osteoporosis. Thankfully, there are easy ways to maintain healthy bones without taking any types of medication and you can begin taking these steps at any time in your life, although beginning at a younger age is always better.
Most of us know that calcium is one of the primary nutrients we need for strong bones. But did you know that without Vitamin D your calcium intake is irrelevant? That’s because this important vitamin actually helps our bodies absorb and use the calcium appropriately. These aren’t the only two nutrients that can help you maintain healthy bones either. Zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin A also play vital roles in strong bones.
Because so many ingredients are important, you are better off choosing natural sources, such as foods, over supplements which may be missing important elements. Even if you can’t or prefer not to drink milk, you’ll find foods throughout the food pyramid that are rich sources of calcium, Vitamin D, and the other nutrients mentioned above.
Although nutrients are important, they don’t represent the whole story when it comes to how to maintain healthy bones. To build strong bones, you also need to exercise. The best exercises are those which are going to put weight on your joints and muscles. Known as weight-bearing exercises, these activities force your body to work on strengthening your bones to better handle the weight. While swimming and similar activities do great things for your body and health, their low-impact nature means they won’t be useful in bone building.
While these are some natural ways to maintain healthy bones, there are also some steps you can not take that will help your efforts. One is to avoid any unhealthy diets that cause you to restrict your food intake significantly. That includes the development of eating disorders which can lead to nutrient loss and hormone disruption.
You should also not smoke. The chemicals in tobacco can actually destroy your bones and weaken them. Some researchers also make a connection between the reduction in stamina experienced by long-term smokers and an inability to do enough weight bearing exercises for good bone building.
Alcohol should also be avoided. Not only can it prevent your body from properly absorbing calcium but it can also cause you to lose the other important nutrients you need through increased urination. Plus, people who drink large amounts of alcohol are more likely not to eat balanced, healthy meals which provide the nutrients necessary to maintain healthy bones in the first place.
Another part of keeping your bones healthy is taking steps to avoid fractures and damage. That includes wearing safety equipment when engaging in activities that could lead to injuries and taking precautions to minimize falls, such as wearing comfortable shoes.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Osteoporosis Prevention10 Dec 2008|