Bone health is one thing that people often neglect. After all, these support the entire body and allow movement to take place.
However, bone health is often not a priority. People do not see the importance of bone health, nor do they take necessary steps to ensure that these are in perfect shape.
This guide will share all there is to know about bone health and why people should take it seriously.
The Importance of Bones
The bones in the human body do so much work. Besides holding the body's weight, bones also protect the brain, heart, and other vital organs from harm and injury. Impacts of accidents and rigorous physical activity to the organs are less severe because of bones that cage them.
Also, bones serve as the storage facility for minerals needed in the body, such as calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are released when the need arises.
Just like the other parts of the body, bones grow through time. It is during childhood and adolescence that bone development is crucial.
As people grow older, bones continue to undergo a constant process of breaking and rebuilding. Bone mass determines the bone's strength and ability to carry weight. The usual age where people reach their peak bone mass is around 30 years old.
After age 30, there is less bone growth, and the body loses more bone mass than it can gain. Whatever the effects of physical stress and strain are to your bones take much longer time to address.
Why You Should Take Bone Health Seriously
Bone health is essential to keep the body's skeletal support in shape. By taking care of your bones, you ensure that bone development goes smoothly.
During the early stages of bone development, such as in children and adolescents, bone health should be considered a priority. To be able to support a growing body, bones must be healthy and strong. Bones must grow and develop together with other body parts.
For adults, bone health is also equally crucial, given that bones do not develop as fast as before. As we age, the risk of encountering bone problems increases. The focus should be on keeping bones healthy to avoid problems that may later be hard to face.
Factors That Affect Bone Health
Many factors contribute to one's bone health. These things help determine how strong and healthy your bones are.
Different age groups are in various stages of bone development. As a result, bone health needs for different age groups vary.
Younger generations need to focus on keeping their bone growth steady. In comparison, older generations have to keep their aging bones healthy and strong.
Bone structures come in different sizes. Some people have more prominent bones, while others have petite frames. People with smaller body frames have less bone mass.
Family medical history plays a part in determining your bone health. Because of genetics, you may or may not have inherited the bone characteristics of your parents. If your family has a history of bone problems, you have to watch out because the chances of encountering these problems are higher.
Physical activity plays a role in bone health. Less active people are more likely to get bone issues than their active counterparts. Functional movements like weight lifting and even bodyweight movements help to strengthen bones.
To stimulate the osteogenic effects of increased bone mass, bone tissues must be exposed to a load exceeding that experienced during daily living activities. Of the several exercise training programs, resistance training is most beneficial for the preservation of bone and muscle mass.
We often hear how calcium is imperative for bone health. Indeed, calcium is a mineral that keeps bone and teeth structures healthy, but many other minerals are also co-factors needed for bone strength, such as magnesium and potassium. These minerals are often overlooked.
Rather than focusing on taking calcium without other necessary co-factors, it's important to focus on eating a mineral-rich, nutrient-dense diet.
Some of the go-to food for good bone health are:
- salmon (wild-caught)
- tuna (wild-caught)
- mineral-rich bone broth
Getting Enough Sunlight
Sunlight keeps your bones healthy. How? Sunshine is a good source of vitamin D and helps the body reap the benefits of minerals that require Vitamin D for absorption.
The best-known benefit of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply; Vitamin D deficiency is due to lack of adequate sunshine.
"At least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body are now thought to be regulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]D), the active form of the vitamin, including several involved in calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning."[source]
Doing Regular Exercise
As we mentioned above, functional movement like weightlifting and bodyweight exercises will not only make your bones stronger but will also improve your overall health.
Simple physical activities that put weight on your bones, such as walking, jogging, lifting weights, and climbing stairs, help bones get more robust.
The more physical activity you regularly have, the less likely you will meet bone health issues.
Sitting and standing body postures contribute to your bone health. Good posture lessens the risk of bone loss. Slouching and poor posture negatively affects your bone shape and overall bone health.
Bone Health Journey
Not everyone realizes the importance of bone health. There are countless ways to care for our bones, and these are quite simple to do. Start by eating healthy, exercising, and practicing a healthy posture.
Failing to do these simple steps while taking the body for granted may lead to poor bone health and bone problems in the future.
However, it is never too late to start taking your bone health seriously.
Mead, M Nathaniel. “Benefits of sunlight: a bright spot for human health.” Environmental health perspectives vol. 116,4 (2008): A160-7. doi:10.1289/ehp.116-a160
Leyland S. Safe sunlight and its role in bone health. Nurs Times. 2014;110(27):15.