Healthy aging, it’s what we all strive for, especially when it comes to our bones and joints. After all, the old saying stands true, “You only have one body, you better take care of it.” Easier said than done with our fast-paced lifestyles and a food system designed for convenience. The truth is, no matter how busy we think we are, there is always time to invest in our health, and the key is persistence and consistent, positive choices. That’s right, bone and joint health is a lifelong commitment.
Bone and joint health begin in early childhood as our bodies are developing. The adolescent years bring growth spurts that increase the occurrence of fractures. Playing outside, exploring, and falling are all part of being a kid. Sometimes these adventures can cause an injury or two. It can be concerning when a child experiences a fracture in conjunction with a mild injury as this could be a sign of low bone mass that could carry over to adulthood.
So what is the magic formula for healthy bones? Proper diet, nutrition, and exercise.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for bone health. Carrying around extra weight can increase stress and tension that can affect bone development. It also wears down on our knees and hips. The sad truth today is, about one in five school-aged children in America are obese. This means that one in five children between the ages of six and 19 are carrying around extra weight that can cause long-term harm to their bones and joints.
It’s no secret that proper diet, nutrition, and exercise help us maintain a healthy weight, but what do they do for our joint health besides that?
DietDiet and nutrition go hand in hand. We want to get the most nutritional value from the foods we consume. Eating locally grown, whole foods will give you the greatest nutritional bang for your buck. And, maintaining a diet that is filled with nutrient-rich foods will maximize the nutrition necessary for healthy bones and joints.
NutritionWhat key nutrients are we looking for when it comes to bone and joint health?
Calcium: A diet rich in calcium is critical for bone health. We all know that dairy products are rich in calcium. However, they are not the only way to add this beneficial nutrient to your diet. You can also turn to wild caught salmon and avocado for a nice dose of calcium. Other foods such as almonds and kale are rich in calcium and antioxidants that are necessary for bone and joint health.
Vitamin D: Bring on the sunshine! Your body requires Vitamin D to absorb calcium, and we all know how important calcium is for our bone health. As a child, you require vitamin D to develop strong bones, and as an adult, you require it to maintain healthy bones. Lack of this vitamin could result in low bone density.
SupplementsSupplements are a great way to add nutrients to our bodies that we are not getting enough of through diet alone. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, it is benefical to supplement Glucosamine and Chondroitin, two key ingredients found in New Earth’s key joint supporting supplement, Flex. Both of these ingredients are naturally found in healthy cartilage. Glucosamine is a precursor to glycosaminoglycans, which are components of joint cartilage. Glucosamine continues to be studied by the science community for potential benefits to joints and cartilage. Chondroitin is the subject of extensive research study for its potential benefits to the joint and cartilage systems.
ExerciseRegular exercise is a key component to maintaining our overall bone and joint health. The key here is mixing up the types of exercises you do. Exercises that benefit the bones don’t necessarily benefit the joints. For maximum benefits mix up weight bearing exercises with aerobic exercises. This will reduce the wear and tear that repetitive exercises bring and allow you to experience all of the wonderful benefits that exercise provides.
As with any aspect of health maintaining healthy bones and joints is multifaceted. At the end of the day, it’s about implementing the habits we know to be beneficial for longevity in general while focusing on a few key nutrients.
Happy bone and joint health action week!