Osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures, which is one of the many reasons it’s important to ensure that you have healthy, strong bones. Approximately 10 million Americans [1] over the age of 50 have osteoporosis in their hips. In the same age group, 33.6 million individuals have low bone mass, which puts them at risk for developing osteoporosis later in life.

The sooner you start working on strengthening your bones, the better. Taking key vitamins for bones combined with regular physical activity and other lifestyle changes can keep them in optimal health. Whatever your age, it’s never too late to start adopting practices that preserve bone health, and this guide will show you the ropes.

Why is Bone Health Important?

The skeletal system has two main roles [2]; it serves a structural function by providing support, mobility, and protection for the body, and a reservoir function as a repository for essential minerals. When bone health deteriorates, the risk of pain and fractures increases.

If bone mass and mineral density decline significantly, the bones can become so brittle and weak that even the mildest stress, like coughing or bending, can cause a break. This is one of the primary risks for people with osteoporosis [3].

What Affects Bone Health?

Studies [4] indicate that maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for lifelong bone health. When you’re young, following a nutrient-rich nutritional regimen and engaging in activities that support strength can maximize peak bone mass.

As you age, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can preserve existing bone mass. In addition, taking in plenty of vitamins for bones can help prevent the bone loss and deterioration that typically occurs over time.

While genes do play a role in bone health, lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet can be the difference between brittle and strong bones. For example, in 15% to 40% [5] of cases, a condition called Pagets disease of bone is inherited. If one parent carries the faulty genes the child may develop the disease, leading to poor bone health.

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Strong Bones for Life

What you eat makes a big difference in the strength of your bones, and there are some key nutrients your body needs to absorb in order to build mass and keep the bones strong throughout your life. The go-to vitamins for bones are calcium and Vitamin D.

Calcium: Why You Need It

Calcium is one of the most essential vitamins for bone health, making up roughly 30% to 35% [6] of bone mass and responsible for much of its strength. Healthy bones are sturdier and less prone to breaking, however, according to a survey [7] published by the Linus Pauling Institute, about 44.1% of the U.S. population doesn’t meet the daily intake requirements.

Calcium does more than just build strength, it is one of the key vitamins for bones that also supports the health of your nervous system, heart, and muscles. When your diet lacks sufficient calcium, it weakens the bones gradually and increases the chance of developing osteoporosis.

Calcium: How to Get It

Our bodies don’t produce calcium naturally, so to build robust bones and teeth you have to obtain it from foods, beverages, and possibly bone health supplements. These are some of the best sources of calcium [8] to include in your diet:

  • Leafy greens (i.e. spinach, kale, turnip, bok choy, collard)
  • Canned salmon or sardines
  • Winter squash
  • Orange juice (calcium-fortified)
  • Dairy products (i.e. cheese, yogurt, milk)
  • Almonds

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Vitamin D: Why You Need It

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently so it can be used in the body. It is one of the vitamins for bone health that you require on a daily basis because it strengthens bones and supports their health. However, data indicates [9] that over 50% of the general population at every age is deficient in Vitamin D, and roughly 70% of seniors in the United States have low levels. If your body lacks this key nutrient, it increases your chances of developing soft, weak bones.

Vitamin D: How to Get It

There are 3 ways that you can get Vitamin D, which include nutrition, sunlight, and supplements. Foods such as fish liver oil and the flesh of fatty fish are teeming with this nutrient, and there are smaller amounts in cheese, beef liver, and egg yolk.

To boost your levels of one of the key vitamins for bones, you can also opt for fortified cereals, orange juice, mushrooms, and cow’s milk. If you feel you need an additional Vitamin D boost, consider taking bone health supplements for optimal health, strength, and resilience.

Get Physical Every Day

Apart from providing you with nutrients, your diet also supplies the energy your body needs in the form of calories. When combined with physical activity, this energy input and output influences your body weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial for optimal bone health, so we recommend that you try to exercise daily.

Exercises to Build Bones

Best Exercises to Build Bones

Bones are not simply static structures that support the body, rather, they consist of highly active and metabolically dynamic tissue. Bones adjust and remodel themselves in response to physical activity, so exercise can significantly enhance their strength. Light activity and resistance training can both help. Here are some optimal exercises for you to try:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Strength training
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Power walking
  • Step-ups
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics

Lifestyle Changes

When it comes to bone pain, causes may include fractures, osteoporosis, arthritis, or conditions like Paget’s disease and osteomalacia. Some of these causes and conditions are influenced by lifestyle factors.

According to the Medicine Baltimore Journal [10], following a healthy lifestyle can have a significantly positive impact on bone health and may reduce your risk of developing a related disease. Here are a few lifestyle changes that can benefit your bones in the long run.

1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is a risk factor [11] for poor bone health and strength. The habit has a negative impact on body weight, hormone metabolism, Vitamin D levels, blood flow, and calcium absorption. In addition, it can disrupt healthy bone formation and resorption. If you are a heavy smoker, you may be at higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

If you recently quit smoking, taking vitamins for bone health is a particularly good idea as it both revitalizes your body with essential nutrients and enhances bone strength. Quitting the habit is a beneficial step leading to a healthier and stronger you!

2. Cut Out Added Sugar

Consuming too much sugar can lower active Vitamin D levels, which negatively impacts calcium absorption. As such, according to a review in the Missouri Medicine Journal [12], a diet high in sugar can deplete both Vitamin D and calcium.

In addition, it can hinder bone development by raising blood glucose levels. There’s evidence indicating that high blood sugar, in particular from a sugar-heavy diet, is associated with lower bone density and mass.

By following a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, you can enhance overall bone health and reduce your risks of breaks and fractures. Supplement by taking vitamins for bones for optimal strength.

3. Limit Alcohol

Drinking excess alcohol [13] over an extended period can affect how bone tissue gets remodeled and interfere with its growth. This can happen either directly or indirectly by disrupting the hormones, cells, and growth factors that support bone health.

In teenagers, drinking too much alcohol can impair growth and development and lead to weaker bones in adulthood. Excess alcohol consumption in adults can affect the balance between bone remodeling and loss, which increases the risk of developing alcoholic bone disease.

FAQ’s

What is the fastest way to increase bone density?

There is no magic pill that can increase your bone density overnight, and no matter what approach you take it is a gradual process. Make sure you’re following a nutrient-rich diet that includes foods with calcium and Vitamin D in particular. In addition, engage in regular exercise like weight-bearing or strength training. Finally, try to cut out habits that could curtail your efforts, like smoking and drinking.

What are 5 ways to build strong bones?

The older you get, the harder it becomes to keep your bones in optimal condition. Some of the best ways to build a stronger foundation are including more calcium in your diet, supplementing with Vitamin D, increasing your protein intake, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding diets that radically reduce calories.

Following a very low-calorie diet can slow your metabolism, deplete muscle mass, and heighten rebound hunger leading to poor bone health [14]. It’s important to ensure that you take in the recommended daily calorie intake based on your age, lifestyle, and physical activity level.

What are the signs of weak bones?

It’s not always easy to recognize the signs of weak bones, however, there are some indicators that may suggest that you have poor bone health. One example is bones that break too easily, even when carrying out minor or routine tasks.

Another sign of weak bones is persistent back pain, especially in the lower back, which may occur as a result of vertebral compression or fractures. Finally, a stooped posture may be an indicator of weak bones.

Conclusion

Are you worried that your bones may be too weak? Anyone can get a fracture or experience pain and discomfort, but for someone with soft, fragile bones, these health problems are a lot more common.

By following a nutrient-rich diet, exercising regularly, and cutting out bad habits, you can keep your body on the right track and your bones strong. If you want to ensure that you are getting all of the required vitamins and minerals, consider complementing your healthy lifestyle with daily bone health supplements that ensure optimal strength.