Our entire body is mounted on a framework made of bones called the Skeletal System. Our bones support our entire body weight, which is why it very critical to maintain their strength and density. From the time of our birth to 40 years of age, our bone regeneration is running at its peak. As you cross forty, the rate of regeneration undergoes decline. This is why it’s so crucial to develop strong bones in childhood.
Poor bone health can lead to conditions such as Rickets and Osteoporosis, which can lead to the fracture/disintegration of bones later on in life. This is one of the prime reasons why it’s important to lay the foundation for bone health at a young age. The natural methods to maintain and increase the strength and density of our bones consist mainly of:
- Avoiding Toxins which cause depletion
This entails the intake of foods (solid/liquid) that boost the body’s bone cell production. Calcium is the primordial element involved in the building of bones cells along with playing a crucial role in muscle function, nerve signalling, and hormone secretion.
Most people are capable of absorbing sufficient calcium and vitamin D through a healthy and balanced diet alone. Adults need around 700 mg of calcium a day. Women require at least 1300 mg of calcium during pregnancy and post pregnancy, to facilitate the additional calcium requirements for the fetus. Nutritional consumption of calcium includes:
- Absorption of calcium from milk, cheese, yoghurt, salmon, tuna, sardines, nuts, tofu, soy, etc…
- Non-Vegetarians get most of their Calcium from dairy products, fish, and meat.
- Vegans can get their calcium supply from strong bones food such as soy, tofu, pulses, leafy vegetables like broccoli/cabbage etc…
- The consumption of Vitamin D and Vitamin K which aid in absorption and assimilation of Calcium.
- Good sources of Vitamin D are oily fishes like salmon, sardines and mackerel, eggs, cereals etc…
- Vitamin D – stimulates calcium absorption in the intestines and Vitamin K reduces the amount of calcium excreted by the body.
Exercising entails movements or actions which directly stimulate the musculoskeletal system. Regular exercising is essential to maintain the body at an optimal performance level and increases coordination, balance, and stamina which also reduces the chance of falling / losing balance. Exercise invigorates and stimulates the skeletal, muscular, endocrine and reproductive systems.
Most effective exercises that stimulate bone strengthening include:
- Rope jumping
- Stair climbing
- Resistance Training
- Training and practising martial arts
These activities train the muscles as well as the tendons which are attached to the bones, in turn boosting bone strength.
Getting some sunshine while exercising also boosts the Vitamin D production in the body.
From a young age, it’s important to stick to a healthy bone diet and avoid the consumption of toxic substances which contribute to the depletion of calcium/bone cells. This can be done by:
- Quit Smoking. Smoking is extremely unhealthy and Nicotine directly affects the body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients.
- Reduce/Eliminate consumption of Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption causes serious health issues not only to the skeletal system but respiratory and cardio-circulatory systems as well.
- Reduce Caffeine intake. Caffeine has health benefits but when consumed in excess it reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the food we consume.
Kids with strong bones will definitely experience a higher quality of life when they are growing up and later in their adult life. By maintaining a proper diet, leading an active lifestyle, and avoiding toxic habits all of us can lead long and productive lives with good overall health and bone strength.