There are a number of different reasons for low bone density. They can include radiation exposure,, certain drugs, hereditary factors, an increase in the number of bone-breakdown cells, a decrease in the number of bone-forming cells, a reduction in the production of the hormone estrogen in women, and an increase in the elimination of calcium through urine. However, this is not something you simply have to accept, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to improve bone strength, and we will take a look at five of them below.
1. Take a natural calcium supplement
You should always try and get as much calcium as you can via your regular diet. Calcium-rich foods include milk, kale, sardines, yoghurt, kefir, broccoli, watercress, cheese and bok choy, so try to incorporate these next time you’re out doing your weekly grocery shop. Taking a quality natural calcium supplement is also a great way to improve bone strength. Calcium is one of the most important minerals when it comes to bone strength, and it can be difficult to get the required dosage through food. This is something you don’t need to worry about with natural calcium supplements. Clinical trials have proven that such supplements can boost bone density, with positive results noted in 80-year-olds.
2. Implement healthy lifestyle behaviours
A few little lifestyle changes can make a massive difference. You can slow or stop the loss of bone mass by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet. So, what are the healthy lifestyle behaviours you should implement? Firstly, learn about your personal risk factors for osteoporosis. Next, try not to eat too many processed or salty foods, limit alcohol intake, quit smoking, and eat five or more pieces of vegetables and fruits per day.
3. Do muscle-strengthening and weight-bearing exercises
These types of exercises are vital for building and maintaining bone density. Try to do muscle-strengthening exercises two to three times per week, and do weight-bearing exercises 30 minutes most days of the week. There are a number of ways you can implement exercise into your return. Why not try a new activity or sport? You can also go dancing, sign up to the gym and do group exercise classes, use resistance bands and light dumbbells for muscle strengthening, and go for brisk walks.
4. Make sure you get enough Vitamin D
Not only do you need to get a good dose of calcium for bone strength, but Vitamin D is important too. There are numerous ways you can include this in your diet. Of course, you can take a Vitamin D supplement. You should also look for foods that contain both Vitamin D and calcium, for example, milk alternatives, fortified juices, green vegetables such as kale, bok choy, and broccoli, as well as Greek yoghurt and low-fat yoghurt.
5. Talk to your doctor about your bone health
Last but not least, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to get a good idea regarding the health of your bones and the steps you can take. After all, there are a number of different factors that could put you at risk of developing osteoporosis, including family history, medical history, lifestyle, gender, age and current medication. Be prepared for the appointment; bring a list of questions and take notes. Ask about any tests that you can have done, including a bone density test, and work alongside your healthcare provider to ensure you have the best plan in place.
6. Know your T-Score
As osteoporosis is often dubbed the “silent disease,” it’s vital that you keep tabs on your bone health to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises. This is because you won’t display obvious, external symptoms of osteoporosis until a bone breaks; and when that happens, it’s usually quite advanced. It’s also not a sign that you want to wait for! There is a way to stay on top of this, however. A Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test will tell you how strong your bones are via results that are known as a T-Score. Your doctor can combine these results with other factors, such as your gender, activity level and age, to determine your risk of osteoporosis.
You only get given one body in this lifetime, so it’s paramount that you take the adequate steps to ensure that it lasts you the distance. Whether that be taking a BMD test, supplementing your body, staying active or getting enough Vitamin D; if you follow the tips that have been mentioned above, you can be satisfied that you are making the necessary lifestyle changes in order to improve the strength of your bones. Plus, we are sure you will agree that a lot of the suggestions are really easy to make. With such a small effort, you can make such a massive difference.