Your bone health is important for your overall health. Strong bones help support your muscles and joints as well as protect your internal organs from injury. Weak bones can lead to fractures and other problems (19).
There are several things you can do to keep your bones healthy and strong. One of those is by getting enough calcium and vitamin D, which is important for bone health, as well as getting regular exercise. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises help to keep bones strong (19).
Let’s find out some of the bone-strengthening activities that you can do to help keep your bones healthy.
Some of those activities are:
- Climbing stairs
Resistance activities help build up bone density and strength. These activities work muscles and put stress on bones, which helps them become stronger (8).
Some of those activities are:
Benefits Of Bone Strengthening Activities
There are many benefits to doing bone-strengthening activities, such as:
Reduce The Risk Of Osteoporosis And Other Bone Diseases
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weak. This disease is more common in older adults, but it can occur at any age. Bone-strengthening activities can help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis (15).
Improve Bone Density And Strength
Bone-strengthening activities can help improve bone density and strength (20). This is especially important for older adults, who are at risk for developing bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Reduce The Risk Of Fractures
Fractures are a common injury, especially in older adults. Bone-strengthening activities can help reduce the risk of fractures by making bones stronger and more resistant to injury.
Increase Muscle Strength
Improve Balance And Coordination
Increase Energy Levels
Regular exercise can help increase energy levels. This can be especially beneficial for older adults, who may have decreased energy levels due to age-related health problems (16).
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Improve Overall Health
Bone-strengthening activities can help improve overall health. These activities can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. They can also help improve mental health and reduce stress levels (13).
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Bone-strengthening activities can also help to improve cardiovascular health. These activities can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They can also help lower the blood pressure and improve the cholesterol levels (7).
Risk Factors For Bone Health Problems
Several risk factors can increase the chances of developing bone health problems.
These risk factors include (1):
- Age: Older adults are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
- Gender: Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men.
- Race: Caucasians and Asians are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than other racial groups.
- Diet: A diet low in calcium can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also increase the risk for these conditions.
- Family History: If you have a family member with osteoporosis or another bone disease, you may be at a higher risk for developing these conditions.
- Certain Medications: Some medications, such as steroids and anticonvulsants, can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.
Read More: Youth Fitness Activities And Their Benefits
Preventing Bone Health Problems
There are several things you can do to prevent bone health problems.
These steps include:
Getting Enough Calcium
Calcium is important for maintaining bone health (4). Adults need about 1000 mg of calcium per day. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables.
Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium (3). Adults need about 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D per day. Good sources of this vitamin include fatty fish, such as salmon, and fortified milk.
You can also get vitamin D from sunshine. Just spending a few minutes in the sun each day can help your body produce vitamin D.
However, it is important to note that not all sunshine is good for you. Too much sun exposure can increase your risk for skin cancer (18). So be sure to wear sunscreen when you’re outdoors.
The best times to get sunlight are early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun’s rays are not as strong.
Regular exercise is important for maintaining bone health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and lifting weights, can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (11).
Avoiding Smoking And Excessive Alcohol Use
If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your bones. If you drink alcohol, it’s important to limit your intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Considering Taking Supplements
Supplementation is important for maintaining bone health (10). As mentioned above, adults need about 1000 mg of calcium per day. This can be difficult to get from diet alone.
Good thing that there are many different types of calcium supplements available. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. So they can help you choose a supplement that’s perfect for you.
Calcium is not the only nutrient important for bone health. Vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus are also important (10). You may need to take a supplement that contains all of these nutrients if you’re not getting enough from your diet alone.
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Managing Your Weight
Being overweight can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis (17). If you’re overweight, the best thing you can do for your bone health is to lose weight.
Start by making small changes to your diet and exercise routine. Over time, these changes can add up to big results. The idea is to use more calories than you consume so that your body will start to burn fat for energy.
Here are some tips to help you lose weight healthily:
Cut Back On Calories
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns (12). One way to do this is by eating smaller portions. You can also make healthier choices, such as choosing leaner meats and lower-fat dairy products (5).
Increase Your Activity Level
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. One way to do this is by increasing your activity level (22).
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as walking, on most days of the week. You can also break up your activity into smaller chunks of time throughout the day.
Make Changes That Last
Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. To keep the weight off, you need to make changes that you can stick with for the long term. This means finding an exercise routine that you enjoy and making healthy choices a part of your everyday life.
If you’re having trouble losing weight on your own, talk to your doctor. They can help you create a plan that’s right for you.
Bone-strengthening activities are important for maintaining bone health. These activities can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. They can also help improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress levels.
If you have any risk factors for bone health problems, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk. Taking these steps can help you keep your bones healthy and strong.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Assessing the Risk of Bone Disease and Fracture – Bone Health and Osteoporosis (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Association Between Alcohol Consumption and Both Osteoporotic Fracture and Bone Density (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Calcium and Vitamin D: Skeletal and Extraskeletal Health (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Calcium intake and bone mineral density: systematic review and meta-analysis (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) l
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- Effects of Resistance Exercise on Bone Health (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- The Effect of Tobacco Smoking on Bone Mass: An Overview of Pathophysiologic Mechanisms (2018, hindawi.com)
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- What are the health benefits of muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities across life stages and specific health outcomes? (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)