It’s essential to build strong bones in your 20s, as that’s when you reach peak bone mass. If not enough bone mass is created during this time, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones later in life.
Fortunately, managing your nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you reduce that risk. Here are four effective ways to keep your bones healthy and happy!
1. A calcium-rich diet
Calcium helps support bone mineral density and healthy teeth throughout your entire life. As your body doesn’t produce calcium, you need to rely 100% on your diet.
Increase your calcium intake from foods such as dairy products, sardines (with bones), tofu, almonds, hazelnuts and beans. Dark leafy greens are also calcium rich, so enjoy lots of kale, bok choy and collard greens.
Limit your intake of salt and sodium, as they can contribute to calcium loss in your bones. Try to reduce coffee and sodas as well (sorry!).
2. Move your body
Weight-bearing exercises are great for bone health. By using your weight to put stress on your bones, you actually stimulate bone growth and slow age-related bone density loss. Some easy weight-bearing exercises include: skipping rope, jumping, step ups, squats, racquet sports and hiking.
3. Get outside
Feel great and maximise calcium absorption by spending time outdoors. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium into your bones. You can get a little vitamin D through your diet, and your body makes it naturally when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Aim for 15-30 minutes of sunlight a day, and a little longer for those living far north (especially in winter).
As it can be difficult getting all your calcium from your diet, a calcium supplement can be an easy way to access the nutrients your bones need. Remember, the quality of your health depends on the quality of the supplement you take. Always make sure you know where your calcium source comes from.
Breathe easy knowing you’re doing the best you can for your bones!