New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Bone Density
With the new year comes new goals. It’s the time of year when many people set up New Year’s Resolutions to step toward improving their health. If you’ve decided to set new goals this year, it’s important to keep in mind that many common health goals like improving your diet, exercise routine and forming healthy habits, can also help you keep strong and healthy bones.
At the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, our focus is on helping you to feel your best. Read our top New Year’s Resolutions that can help improve your bone density to keep strong and avoid injury.
Eat a Diet Full of Bone Building Nutrients
Getting your daily nutrition is vital to maintaining strong and healthy bones. While many diets often emphasize eating less unhealthy foods, it’s also important to eat enough of the right, nutrient-dense foods. Not only will eating nutrient-dense foods help you go about your daily life with energy, but it will also give you the building blocks you need for stronger bones.
Many studies agree that calcium, along with Vitamin D, is necessary to building strong and healthy bones. Calcium can be found in dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, and other foods like dark green vegetables. Vitamin D, an essential vitamin for calcium absorption, can also be found in vitamin-fortified foods or in getting a bit of sun exposure.
Eating foods rich in other minerals, such as potassium, can improve bone density. Incorporating as many mineral-rich foods into your diet as possible will help to ensure you eat enough calcium and other nutrients to build strong bones.
If you struggle with your daily intake of mineral-rich foods, it may be necessary to take a dietary supplement, but we recommend contacting your doctor before starting any new supplements.
Bone Healthy Foods Include:
- Bok Choy
- Soy Beans
Build Stronger Muscles for Stronger Bones
Just like muscles, bones strengthen in response to exercise.
Regular exercise can also improve your balance and coordination, which may prevent falls and fractures. Staying active may also help to maintain a healthy body weight, which puts less stress on the bones.
While it can be challenging to get motivated to move in the colder winter months, it’s important to keep moving. Not only will staying active lead to physical benefits, but it also has several benefits on mental health that can help to keep you inspired to stay focused on fitness.
Create Healthy Habits
Kick the Cigarettes
The adverse health effects of smoking cigarettes are well known, and kicking the habit can lead to a lower risk for loss in bone density. While difficult to pinpoint the reason smoking and decreased bone density are linked, many studies suggest that smoking increases your risk for a bone fracture and may slow the healing process after a bone fracture. If you need another reason to quit smoking, you can add improved bone health to the list!
Quit Excessive Drinking
Many people strive to improve their drinking habits in the new year. You might even engage in a Dry January to jump-start a new relationship with alcohol.
Alcohol is commonly known to affect the liver, but it also can increase your risk for weakened bones. In addition to the many mental and physical health benefits of drinking less, cutting back on alcohol may also decrease your risk for loss of bone density.
While it’s important to think about ways to focus your New Year’s Resolutions on improving your bone health this year, the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin is here to help if you should experience an injury or setback. Staffed with a team of experts, we know how to help you bounce back and keep your body moving pain-free. Make an appointment today.