Healthy bones are essential for a healthy life. Most of us ignore bone health until we start having some bone-related problems. In the earlier years of life, it is easier to take care of bones. Bones change constantly. It has the ability to grow faster and stronger when you are young. But as you get older, bones grow slower and become weaker.
It's essential to build strong and healthy bones during infanthood and adolescence by adopting a bone-healthy lifestyle. Healthy bones help you in physical activities of daily life as well as sports and leisurely activities.
Continue reading to know about the importance of bone and joint health and ways to reduce joint pain and restore your mobility.
Importance of Bone and Joint Health
Healthy bones provide structure to the body, help in mobility, anchor muscles, protect internal organs and serve as a storage house for essential minerals needed for the body. Proper care of your bone health can prevent or slow down bone loss, which is a major cause of bone disorders.
Some bone diseases may include low bone density, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis etc. Osteoporosis is an ailment that makes the bones weak and fragile. More bone mass you gain by the time you reach your adulthood, the more will be your chance of having healthy bones during your advanced age.
Below mentioned are the important points to consider.
Factors Affecting Bone and Joint Health
There are numerous factors that affect bone and joint health.
Low level of calcium: Lack of calcium and vitamin D in diet may lead to bone weakness.
Physical activity: Absence of regular exercises and physical activity weakens your bones.
Smoking and Alcohol: Toxic substances like cigarettes and alcohol also increase the risk of bone loss.
Genetics: People with certain genetic markers have a higher risk of bone disorders that are genetic. Many autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis have genetic basis. Some ethnic groups have relatively stronger bones compared to other ethnic groups.
Age: The strength of your bones decreases with age. The old age people are more prone to develop bone diseases.
Hormones: Estrogen is a vital regulator of bone metabolism in men and women. Women are more likely to develop bone problems as they reach menopause. Thyroid hormones increase the production of body cells including bone cells.
Body size: Thin and underweight people are more likely to have weaker bones. Body weight has a direct relationship with bone mineral density. BMD and frame size predict future bone health.
Tips for Bone and Joint-Healthy Lifestyle
Several nutrients support healthy bones, in particular, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
Here are a few simple steps to prevent or reduce bone loss.
- Include calcium in your diet - Include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu in your diet, as they are rich source of calcium.
- Vitamin D- Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Natural sources of vitamin D are oily fish, such as salmon, trout, whitefish and tuna. Moreover, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods, such as milk and cereals, are rich sources of vitamin D. Adequate sunlight furthers the body's production of vitamin D.
- Physical activity- An active lifestyle and exercises aid in building strong bones and slow down bone loss. Simple exercises such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs contribute in gaining bone health.
- Avoid harmful habits- Avoid smoking cigarettes and abuse of alcohol. Smoking reduces blood supply to bones. The substance called nicotine found in cigarettes hinders the production of bone-producing cells.
If you were not serious about your bone health until now, be serious before it's too late. Appropriate bone care is crucial whether you are young, adolescent, middle-aged or elderly. For that you don't have to seek out for out-of-ordinary food to maintain a diet that promotes bone and joint health. Following the simple steps, described above, can help you in preventing or reducing bone loss.
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