More than Just Milk: 5 Ways to Improve Bone and Joint Health

Oct 13 • 2016

When thinking about your overall health, are you keeping your bones and joints in mind? Oftentimes they’re forgotten about; however, not giving them the care they deserve can lead to injury or osteoporosis. Just in time for Bone and Joint Health Action Week, read on to discover five surprising things you can be doing to keep yourself healthy and strong.

Adjust Your Diet

Just like certain nutrients keep your heart healthy, your bones need calcium and vitamins C, D, and K to stay strong. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right vitamin amounts each day. If you’re struggling to meet the recommended requirement, talk to your doctor about other ways you can incorporate these nutrients into your diet. It’s also crucial to watch the amount of saturated fat you consume. Eating too much of it may lead to high levels of homocysteine, which can decrease your bone mass over time.

Kick the Tobacco Habit

You may know the impact that smoking cigarettes can have on your overall health, but did you know people who smoke are proven to have a lower bone mass and a higher risk of fractures? The longer you smoke, the higher this risk becomes. And if you’re a female, smoking can cause your body to produce a limited amount of estrogen, resulting in additional bone loss.

Get Outside

Vitamin D is crucial for your bone and joint health. It is responsible for absorbing calcium inside the body, thus helping you build strong bones. A simple way to increase your vitamin D level, is to spend time outside in the sunlight. If you don’t spend much time outside, live in a northern state, or have a fair skin complexion, you may be vitamin D deficient. To make up for this, add fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese, or fortified milk, juice, or cereal to your diet. You can also talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your regimen.

Stay Active

Exercise helps improve bone and joint health in a variety of ways. First, staying active helps you maintain a healthy weight. This is important because being over or underweight can increase your risk for developing osteoporosis. Additionally, working out causes your bones to produce more cells, which makes them stronger.

Fix Your Posture

Poor posture, such as slouching, is often a difficult problem for people to recognize. When you’re sitting or standing, make sure that your posture is straight – this is good for your neck, knees, back, and hips. If you move large objects frequently, make sure to use proper posture when lifting and carrying in order to reduce the amount of stress put on your joints.

For additional information on how you can improve your bone and joint health, speak with your doctor for personalized recommendations.