It’s World Osteoporosis Day!
Don’t let the word scare you – we’re talking about bones.
Osteoporosis refers to the condition that makes your bones weaker and more likely to break.
According to the National Library of Medicine, it is estimated that over 200 million people are suffering from this disease.
Although it cannot be cured, you can strengthen your bones to reduce your risk of suffering from it, or slow down the rate at which you lose bone mass. Below are five practical ways to improve bone strength and health.
Working out regularly is a very good way to stay physically fit and ensure that your bones and muscles are kept in good condition. As much as cardio exercises such as walking, running, etc. are good, consider some weight training exercises a few days a week to maximize the benefits.
Eat Healthy Foods
The power of eating a healthy meal cannot be overemphasized.
By sticking to a healthy diet, you prevent many chronic diseases including osteoporosis. Your bones, like every organ in your body, need nutrients (Calcium and Vitamin D). These can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, kontomire, etc.
They can also be found in fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, etc. Make a good effort to eat more whole and nutritious foods.
Take Vitamin D supplements
The most essential nutrients that keep your bones strong are Calcium and Vitamin D.
It is assumed that a good diet should be able to provide your body with the daily dose of Calcium required. However, you should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement as it is hard to get that desired daily dose in food alone.
A deficiency in these two main minerals means weaker bones that are prone to break. Don’t risk it.
Eat Enough Protein
Protein is essential for healthy muscle and bone development.
It is very easy to eat less protein than you need. Especially if you plan your meal by thinking of carbohydrate first and protein secondary.
Think protein first – and add a side of carbohydrate. Not the other way around. For instance, if your meal is rice, chicken, stew and vegetables, think chicken first – that way you would make a conscious effort to have more chicken and less rice.
Get regular sun exposure
The sun isn’t your enemy – contrary to all the negative perceptions we have about sun exposure, we need a good amount of sunlight daily.
It is a natural source of vitamin D our body needs for various reasons including good bone health. If your job keeps you indoors from sunrise till sunset, that should not be an excuse. Make a conscious effort to get some sun, preferably in the morning.
Like all matters in health and life, prevention is better than cure. Don’t wait till you break a bone. Stay fit, stay healthy and have regular medical checkups!