Bone health is important throughout life. While most bone formation takes place during childhood, our bones don’t stop developing until we’re in our mid- to late-thirties. After that, most of us become vulnerable to weaker and thinner bones. That’s why it’s important to start looking after your bones from an early age – with healthy bones to start with, you can enjoy more active older years.
Not sure how to get strong bones? We have you covered. Here’s how to eat well and exercise wisely, so that your healthy bones are well taken care of.
Finding the right food for strong bones
So for starters, what foods are good for developing strong, healthy bones? There are plenty of vitamins and minerals that help the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Here’s a quick list:
- Calcium. The body needs calcium for the maintenance of normal bones*. It can be found in dairy products, soy beans, and leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and curly kale.
- Magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium and phosphorus have a similar role to play, contributing to the maintenance of normal bones**. Good sources of magnesium are spinach, almonds, chard and soya beans. Phosphorus can be found in salmon, mackerel, brazil nuts, and lean pork chops.
- Vitamin D. Why might you need vitamin D for strong bones? Well, this important nutrient actively contributes to the maintenance of normal bones. Flora ProActiv spreads contain vitamin D to help the body maintain normal bones***. Find our full list of vitamin D sources here.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is good for many different things, including the formation of collagen, which the body needs to help bones function normally****. The list of foods containing vitamin C is endless, but a few good examples are peppers, kiwis, citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries.
- Zinc. Finally, zinc is another mineral that contributes to the maintenance of normal bone health*****. Not sure how to get your daily zinc fix? Stock up on chickpeas, garlic, and (believe it or not) dark chocolate.
So that’s how to get the best vitamins for strong bones in your diet – pretty easy, right? But while it’s tempting to load your plate up with these foods (especially the strawberries and dark chocolate) it’s important to make sure your diet overall is healthy and balanced if you want to take good care of your body. Find out how to get a balanced diet here.
How to get strong bones through exercise
According to the NHS, the key types of exercise you need to look to for bone health are weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises. Here’s the lowdown:
- Weight-bearing exercises for strong bones: Any exercises that you do standing up, with your feet and legs supporting your body weight, count as weight-bearing exercises. They help strengthen your bones by forcing them to work harder. Running, walking, skiing, dancing and jumping are all great examples, so add them into your recommended 150 minutes of cardio per week!
- Muscle-strengthening exercises for strong bones: These are exercises that make your muscles work harder than normal. They strengthen the tendons that connect muscles to bones, which in turn strengthens the bones as well. As well as weight lifting, exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups, planking, yoga poses, and sit-ups are a good option. The NHS recommends doing strength exercises on at least two days each week.
So next time you’re wondering how to get strong bones, remember that it all comes down to the right combination of exercise and diet. Want more healthy lifestyle advice? Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter for regular updates. And don’t forget to download our free Cholesterol Lowering Starter Kit – it’s packed with great tips for eating well and keeping active, perfect for inspiration.
*Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones.
**Magnesium & phosphorus contribute to the maintenance of normal bones.
*** Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.
****Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of bones.
*****Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.