Each day, you may be engaging in behaviors that are aging your bones, without even knowing it.
While some are more obvious issues, some bone-aging behaviors may surprise you.
All can be changed, starting today.
Here are 7 behaviors that are aging your bones, and how to change them.
Our bodies were meant to live largely outdoors.
However, most adults spend over 95% of their lives indoors.
In fact, many spend less than 30 minutes outdoors per day during dark winter months.
This isn’t good news for bones.
Our amazing bodies actually produce one of the key vitamins needed for the bones, by utilizing light from the sun. Vitamin D is synthesized in adequate amounts in just about 10-15 minutes of direct sun exposure per day.
If you tend to leave home, commute inside a car, go directly into a building, and then back home, without spending time outside each day, it’s time to change this behavior.
Recommended Behavior Change: Spend at least 30 minutes outside each day, even if it means braving the cold for a brisk walk on a lunch break.
Bonus: Outdoor time can also improve your mood!
It would be wonderful if our diets could supply every essential nutrient our bodies need each day.
Unfortunately, even the best diets can fall short, and not just because of poor choices.
For example, since our soil has been farmed year after year, often with added pesticides, it’s left most of our foods stripped of essential nutrients.
It’s important to safeguard your bones with bone-building nutrient supplements, especially if you have any indication that your bones are weak, you have a family history of osteoporosis or if you have low bone density. These can help:
Recommended Behavior Change: Supplement with the above nutrients daily, especially when they’re not consumed regularly through foods.
Bonus: These nutrients can also improve whole-body health!
Most exercise is good for the body.
However, when it comes to the bones, you’ll get the most benefit from weight-bearing exercise.
What is weight-bearing exercise?
Weight-bearing exercise forces you to work against gravity, for example: walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Unfortunately, cycling and swimming are not weight-bearing.
If you don’t exercise regularly, or choose non-weight-bearing exercises most of the time, it’s a good idea to add in more weight-bearing options.
Recommended Behavior Change: Try to get in 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise at least 2-3 times per week (this should be in addition to any other exercise, for a total of 30-60 minutes, 5 days per week). If you’re just starting, consider walking at a brisk pace. Walking is a great weight-bearing exercise.
Bonus: Exercising also improves mood, cardiovascular health, weight loss, and more!
There are many foods that can build up your bones. If you don’t eat these regularly, you’re missing a great opportunity.
Bone-building foods include:
Fermented Foods: Probiotics and healthy gut bacteria promote better bone health (5) and can increase mineral solubility and absorption. With the production of short-chain fatty acids, fermented foods produce an enzyme called phytase, to overcome the effects of mineral-decreasing phytate. Fermented food can also reduce intestinal inflammation, which is linked to increased bone mass density, and hydrolyze glycosidic-bound foods, which improves bone health.
Magnesium: As described above, magnesium is vital for bone health. In addition to supplements, try these high-magnesium foods:
*Nuts, seeds, and grains contain phytic acid. Phytic acids bind magnesium to make it difficult to absorb in the gut, rendering some foods as low bioavailability for magnesium, even though they contain the mineral.
Calcium Foods: Calcium is a building-block mineral for bones. Most people can get plenty of calcium through foods. High calcium foods include dairy products, like cheese and yogurt and greens, like kale and spinach.
Recommended Behavior Change: Make bone-building foods a part of most meals, and eat them every day.
Bonus: Most bone-building foods are packed with other great nutrients, such as proteins, healthy fats, calcium, and more.
If you currently drink soda, there are many reasons to stop.
One reason: You’re aging your bones faster.
Sodas that contain phosphoric acids, like Coca-Cola, have been associated with low bone mineral density, especially in older women (6).
Since low bone mineral density is already a problem for many women, sodas can raise the risk.
As we age, bone fractures become increasingly devastating. In fact, hip fractures increase mortality in those over 60 years of age. One study found a 21% mortality rate in the year after a hip fracture in this age group (7). Since body density is acquired and strengthened before we reach older age, it makes sense to do all we can to promote and preserve it throughout life.
Recommended Behavior Change: If you drink soda, stop. Find low-sugar, healthy drink alternatives such as water with cucumber and lemon, coffee with MCT Oil Powder, black tea, green tea, or Keto Zone Lemonade and Keto Zone Sweet Tea.
Bonus: When you quit soda, you’ll also improve blood sugars, weight, and overall health!
It’s time to recognize and change these 7 behaviors since they’re aging your bones. Make the changes necessary today to keep your bones, and body, youthful and healthy.