Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Did you know that when women get into their late 20s, they have very likely reached the peak of their bone density? Why does that even matter? Because we need our bones to be strong and healthy; they are, after all, the things keeping the machine we call our body standing. And when your machine is standing strong, it works more efficiently. Our bones also protect our organs (think of all the stuff inside that rib cage) and act as anchors for our muscles. So, they’re about the most important thing holding us together and we think about them exactly zero times a day.
Women automatically have less bone tissue than men do, which is why we are more susceptible to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that women can develop any time in their lives, but most often following menopause, and it causes bones to become brittle and weak. No Bueno.
Even if menopause is not on your mind, your bones should be. Literally, that skull is a bone and it’s holding your brain in. Terrible bone humour, I’m sorry. Your bones should be on your mind at all stages of life, because the stronger and healthier you are, the less likely you will be to experience loss of bone density, and, if you’re really ahead of the game, the more bone density you store “in the bank” so to speak, the less likely you are to experience the brittle bone problems following menopause.
So. How do we practice good bone health?
Super simple, but not always easy. I’ll give you four ways right here but know that this list is not exhaustive!
1. Strength training. Literally, picking up some stuff every once in a while (even if it’s your own bodyweight) increases your bone mineral density. It’s critical to happy healthy bones. Bonus: it also can decrease inflammation and increase muscle mass. Three wins.
2. More vegetables! It’s the vitamin C in particular you’re looking for (among other things). Think greens and yellows.
3. Calcium. It doesn’t have to be a glass of milk. Calcium can be found in a number of interesting places. Check out a list of calcium rich foods here.
4. Foods rich in vitamin D and K-2. Sauerkraut is my personal fave K-2 food. Vitamin D, is available a number of ways and is important because it helps your body absorb the calcium. You can find out about vitamin D here.
There are a number of other really great strategies to practice good bone health and I would love to talk to you about them. I’m a huge fan of my bones. I’ve broken way too many of them in my lifetime to take them for granted. Schedule a consult with me to talk about ways to get your strength on!
Maggio AB, Rizzoli RR, Marchand LM, Ferrari S, Beghetti M, Farpour-Lambert NJ. Physical activity increases bone mineral density in children with type 1 diabetes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Jul;44(7):1206-11. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182496a25. PMID: 22246217. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22246217/