If you think that bone loss is only the domain of women, think again. Around 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis, and another 12 million are at risk for this serious condition. As a result, up to 25% of men over age 50 will break a bone thanks to bone loss.
Whether you want to fight age-related bone loss or you simply want healthier bones to avoid musculoskeletal injuries, here are five great bone health hacks to keep your foundational structure as strong as possible, courtesy of Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román and the team at No Mercy Sports Medicine in Miami, Florida.
1. Calcium and vitamin D — respect the partnership
While it may have been drilled into you at a young age that calcium builds strong bones, what was often left out is the fact that this important mineral works hand-in-hand with vitamin D. You can inundate your body with calcium, but it needs vitamin D in the blood so it can absorb the mineral.
If you’re looking to increase your calcium intake, spend a little time assessing whether you’re getting enough vitamin D to help your body absorb and integrate the calcium. Adults should be getting 15 micrograms of vitamin D (600 international units) and between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium.
2. Pound it out (within reason)
Your bones are living tissues that are constantly remodeling themselves. The rate at which your bone does this depends upon its workload — if your body registers a good deal of activity in the legs, for example, it focuses its efforts on strengthening those bones.
It's a good idea to stay active with concussive endeavors that let your body know that you need a boost in bone strength. Running and racket sports are just two examples.
3. Strength training also works
If you already have some bone loss, however, it might not be such a good idea to pound on your beleaguered bones. Instead, try strength and resistance training, which sends the same signals to your body.
Lifting weights or using your body for resistance training (think squats or push-ups), are great ways to signal your bones that they need to continue remodeling.
4. Keep excess pounds off
If you’re following tips 2 and 3, you’re well on your way to keeping excess pounds at bay. But while your bones respond to a little extra work, bear in mind that this should not come in the form of carrying extra pounds. Those pounds only wear down and weaken your bones.
If you’re having trouble with your weight, we’re here to help with great weight management services. Our goal is to decrease your risk of chronic disease, improve your performance, and help you achieve optimal wellness.
5. Know your bone density
Perhaps we should have started with this tip — evaluating your starting point when it comes to bone density. We put it at the end, however, because the above four tips are great health hacks, in general.
If you really want to get serious about your bone health, come in to see us so we can evaluate your current bone density and formulate a plan for moving forward toward maintaining great bone health.
For clearly defined goals that can boost your bone health, we invite you to contact No Mercy Sports Medicine today by calling our office in Miami, Florida, at 305-614-6757.