Building Bones Before 30Read Time: 3 minutes
Building healthy bones is crucial for osteoporosis prevention and overall healthy life. Bone mass is built before the age of 30. Good habits in a person’s younger years are vital for bone health. Getting proper nutrition, including enough calcium and vitamin D, is critical. Certain lifestyle factors also affect bone mass. Follow these 4 tips for improving bone health before the age of 30.
1. Get your micronutrients
Specific vitamins and minerals are essential for bone health. In particular, calcium and vitamin D work together to strengthen bones. Both these nutrients are commonly found in fish and dairy products. Calcium is also abundant in leafy green vegetables. People can create vitamin D naturally in the body in response to sun exposure. However, people who live in overcast climates or who eat a vegan diet may have a challenge getting enough of these vitamins. In these cases, a supplement may be beneficial.
2. Don’t be afraid to lift a weight
All weight-bearing exercise is essential for building strong bones. Weight-bearing exercise is any movement that puts pressure on the bones, which includes activities like walking or hiking. This can also include weightlifting or strength training. Studies have shown that men and women who perform weight-bearing exercises have an increase in bone mineral density, bone strength, and bone size. Some studies specifically have shown that weightlifting, in particular, can help to protect women against bone loss.
3. Increase your protein
About 50% of bone is actually made of protein. Low protein levels can decrease calcium absorption, leading to more breakdown of bone. While too much protein can be detrimental, up to 100 grams of protein daily has been shown to be beneficial for bone health.
4. Limit bad habits
Most people know that smoking negatively impacts health, and quitting is always recommended. Additionally, excess sodium, alcohol, caffeine, and soda can all interfere with bone density. For example, one study found that women who had more than 2 cups of coffee per day had higher rates of bone turnover. Additionally, people who have more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily have been shown to have an increased risk of bone fracture.
There’s no time like the present
Building bone strength starts early. Most young people don’t usually think about bones when considering health. However, peak bone mass is achieved before the age of 30. Start building better bones now. For more information about bone health, speak with a healthcare provider.