Our bones and joints are vital – after all, they’re necessary to support our shape and our movement! But far too few people pay enough attention to their bones and joints, leading them to develop osteoporosis or other harmful conditions in old age.
But although lots of Americans experience osteoporosis or hurting joints as they get older, this isn’t a definite outcome for everyone. You can make a change for better bone and joint health starting now with this guide.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Bone and Joint Health?
Remember that bones and joints are effectively interlinked. Your joints are areas where different bones come together through weaving muscle fibers that help your body appropriately. In a lot of cases, what’s healthy for your bones is also healthy for your joints!
Bone and joint health are important since your bones are always changing. When you’re young, your body produces more bone mass in order to help you grow, while breaking down old bone at the same time. Most people obtain their highest amount of bone mass around the age of 30.
After age 30, your bone remodeling continues. But you’ll actually lose a little more bone mass than you gain, which is why many people shrink by a few inches as they get older. Many women in particular develop a condition called osteoporosis, which leads to weak and brittle bones and joints.
But if you have high bone mass (i.e. your body produces enough bone mass to replace most of the losses and maintain strong bone density), you’ll be less likely to develop osteoporosis and other joint-related conditions.
Similarly, lots of people develop joint pain as they enter middle age and beyond. Joint pain is usually caused when the fibrous cartilage between your joints is worn down over time, causing your bones to rub actually against one another.
All in all, it’s important to maintain optimal bone and joint health as you age.
What Can Affect Bone and Joint Health?
Your bone and joint health can be affected by a number of things:
- How much vitamin D and K2 you have in your diet. If you don’t have a lot of D and K2, your body won’t be able to transfer calcium from your blood to your bones to produce more as necessary. Plus, you’re more likely to develop fractures or broken bones from physical activity.
- How much physical activity you engage in. If you are more physically active, you’ll generally put pressure on your bones over time. Though this may sound counterintuitive, this actually trains your body to keep your bones strong, lowering the risk of osteoporosis and other conditions.
- Whether or not you smoke or drink lots of alcohol. If you smoke frequently, your bones may weaken over time, and the same is true if you drink heavily.
- Your size also affects your bone and joint health. If you don’t weigh much, you may have more issues with bone mass as you age since your body will have developed less bone mass over time.
- Sex matters as well. Women are naturally a greater risk of osteoporosis since their bone mineral density can decrease after menopause.
- Then there are other, ancillary factors that can affect your bone and joint health, like hormone levels, eating disorders, and other health conditions
Suffice it to say that there are a lot of things that could potentially affect the health of your bones and joints. It can feel like a lot to keep track of, but the good news is that you can rely on multiple strategies and natural remedies to help improve the health of your bones and joints over time.
How to Improve Bone and Joint Health
In many cases, habits, strategies, or foods that improve the health of your bones will also boost the health of your joints. But this isn’t always the case. Below, we’ll break down each of the best ways to boost the health of your bones and joints and note what each method is best for.
First and foremost, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you exercise frequently. In fact, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain holistic bodily health, not just improve the health of your bones and joints.
By exercising, you’ll contract your muscles and signal your bones to reinforce themselves. This, in turn, signals to your body that it needs to produce more bone mass, shoring up your bones and preventing them from becoming brittle as you age.
The same is true for your joints. By working out (and not overexerting yourself), you’ll build more muscle, which can support the cartilage of your joints and prevent them from becoming overloaded. Furthermore, more muscle will support your bones and lower the risk that you obtain fractures and broken bones over time.
The Livingood Daily Book is a perfect place to start if you want to reinvent your lifestyle and adopt better eating and exercise habits. Since it’s totally free save for the cost of shipping, there’s no reason not to try it out and use what you can find within its pages to start building muscle and boosting your bone and joint health as early as possible.
Consume Plenty of Vitamin D
Most people know of vitamin D as a key nutrient for your body. But most people don’t know why you need vitamin D. In reality, your body requires vitamin D to absorb the calcium you consume. It’s recommended that most adults aged between 19 and 70 regularly consume vitamin D to prevent bone loss.
You can, of course, get plenty of vitamin D if you expose your skin to sunlight. This is why lots of people need to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months, when the days are darker and we tend to stay inside more to avoid the cold. Livingood Daily’s Vitamin D Supplement is a perfect example of a supplement that everyone can take and benefit from.
You can also eat certain foods to obtain extra vitamin D, including oily fish like salmon, tuna, and trout. Mushrooms, eggs, and other fortified foods like cereals can also serve as ancillary sources of vitamin D.
Eat Some Calcium
Just like vitamin D, you need to EAT plenty of calcium in order to give your body the building blocks it needs to build new bone mass. Be sure to consume about 1000 mg of calcium per day if you’re a man or 1200 mg of calcium a day if you’re a woman over the age of 50.
While you can take calcium supplements, they often can be overdosed and create calcification issues in the body. Ideally, bolster your calcium intake by consuming certain foods like almonds, kale, lots of other leafy greens, and most dairy products.
Don’t Consume Bad Substances
As mentioned above, avoiding substance abuse is critical if you want to maintain bone and joint health. You should always avoid smoking, both for this reason and for the plethora of cancerous and other negative side effects that come along with the habit.
But you should also try not to drink too much alcohol. For women, it’s advised that you don’t drink more than one alcoholic drink every day, and if you’re a man, don’t go above two drinks per day.
Stay in a Healthy Weight Range
Your body’s weight will also affect the strength of your bones and joints. If you maintain your weight within a healthy range, you’ll put less undue pressure on your joints and, thus, be less likely to develop joint pain or other harmful conditions as you age.
Similarly, while you need some weight to maintain good bone mass, you don’t want to go overboard, as this can stress your bones and lead to tons of other health-related conditions or side effects.
If you need help staying within a healthy weight range, try using a nutritional book like Make Food Simple to help you eat healthy yet tasty meals that don’t have you consume too much sugar or fat like a lot of foods common in the modern American diet.
Stay Limber and Work on Your Posture
Lastly, we’d recommend that you try to work on your posture and undertake some kind of healthy stretching routine like yoga. This, again, strengthens your bones and helps train your body to hold itself in a way that doesn’t place too much pressure on certain joints.
If you can perfect your posture, you’ll lower the risks of breaking bones or injuring your joints.
Ultimately, maintaining excellent bone and joint health is crucial if you want to enjoy your golden years and stay physically fit and active throughout the prime of your life.