Bones are living, growing body parts that provide structure and protect your vital organs. Although bones are strong, they begin to deteriorate naturally with aging, which can lead to issues like fractures and osteoporosis.
Strengthening bones early on is the best way to ensure bone health, especially as you age. Understanding how to strengthen your bones helps avoid unwanted and painful problems later.
Our experienced team at the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico in Roswell, New Mexico, offer cutting-edge treatments for orthopedic problems.
Understanding bone remodeling
Babies are born with 270 bones, which eventually fuse to form 206 bones. However, this number can vary, with some people having 213 bones due to rib, finger, and toe variations.
Your bones are constantly remodeling, which breaks down the old and rebuilds new, healthy bone tissue. Under 40, your bones rebuild faster than they break down, which helps build long-term bone strength.
However, as you age, the remodeling process begins to slow down. At this point, old bone is breaking down faster than your body is rebuilding new.
Although it’s normal for the process to slow, it puts you at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures if your bones aren't strong to begin with.
The facts on osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease because there are often no other symptoms than broken bones, which happen quickly and frequently with this condition.
If you're living with osteoporosis, your bones break down faster than they can rebuild bone tissue, causing them to become brittle and weak.
The inside of your bones looks similar to a honeycomb, which is the main structure of your bones. With osteoporosis, the holes in the "honeycomb" become more prominent, causing them to become extremely weak and brittle.
Osteoporosis leads to easy bone fractures, sometimes from a simple sneeze or cough. Even bumping into a table can lead to a fracture.
It's also more challenging for your bones to recover after a fracture, often causing permanent pain and sometimes disability. Spine and hip fractures are especially grievous, as they may decrease quality of life.
Tips to build up bone strength
Your bone strength builds up in your younger years as the bones prepare for the inevitability of the aging process. If you're concerned about your bone strength, there are various ways you can keep your bones strong and maintain their strength throughout your life, including:
Eat a healthy diet
Your diet is an essential component of strong and healthy bones. We advise you to eat foods rich in vitamins and essential nutrients, such as lean proteins, leafy green vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
Limit your consumption of processed foods and sugary drinks, as they don't hold any nutritional value and may lead to obesity, which is hard on your bone health.
Perform weight-bearing exercises
Staying active is another excellent way to keep your bones strong. Weight-bearing exercises are beneficial for bone strength.
We provide you with weight-bearing exercises to perform, including walking, hiking, dancing, and climbing stairs.
Include strength training
You should also include strength training in your daily activities to slow the progression of bone loss. Strength training exercises increase your muscle mass and stress your bones, which helps them become more robust.
Strength training includes lifting weights, body-weight exercises like push-ups, and resistance-band training.
Get enough calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients your bones require to stay strong. Calcium is the most critical nutrient your bones need for growth and strength. Most people require 1000 milligrams per day, although the number increases for teens and women who need 1300 or 1200, respectively.
Vitamin D is necessary for your bones to absorb calcium. Most people require 600 international units daily, although that number increases to 800 for adults over 70. You can get vitamin D through salmon, eggs, milk, and fortified cereals.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or underweight affects how your bones grow and build new bone tissues. Aim for a healthy weight throughout your life to keep your bones strong.
These steps are crucial to maintaining your bone strength and health and helping prevent problems like fractures and osteoporosis, especially as you age.
To learn more about your bone health, don't hesitate to call our office in Roswell at 575-623-9101 or book an appointment with Dr. Osmani on our website. You can also walk into our urgent care facility for quick and efficient fracture care.