Building Strong Bones

Posted on October 4, 2018. Filed under: Acupuncturist, Aging, Exercise, Health, Hormone, injury, rebuild, Joints | Tags: , , , , , |

gregmonicaweight1~by Dr. Greg Steiner

Everyone needs strong bones; they provide structure and protect us from injury.  Fortunately, there are many ways to build stronger, denser bones even at an older age.  One of the best ways to increase bone density is exercise, but certain types of exercise yield better results than others.  Bones remodel themselves according to the stress placed upon them.  Doing light weights with lots of repetitions doesn’t really tug and pull and allow enough force on the bones & muscles to strengthen them. To properly “stress” a bone, you’ll want to use heavier weights but not so heavy as to injure yourself.  Body weight used as resistance can also work and can include yoga, elastic tubing, pushups, etc…) Weight bearing refers to how much of your body weight you are holding up while exercising.  For example, walking would be more weight-bearing than bike riding and running is more weight bearing than swimming (due to buoyancy of water there is less resistance).

Changing the direction and various angles in which we move our bodies can strengthen bones as well.  The hips, spine, wrist and ribs are much more prone to density issues, so focus on these areas are important. Because most of the time we move our hips in a straight linear pattern, the bones get the message that they need to maintain density for that path only.  That’s why exercise which involves swiveling, twisting or turning can build strength all around.  Exercises that rotate the hips include dancing, martial arts, tennis and even tai chi.

The next best way to build bone density is through nutrition.  Ample protein is needed because 50% of our bones are made of protein and really low protein can weaken bones.  If you consume a lot of protein, be sure to balance it with lots of vegetables. Be sure to also incorporate calcium.  The RDA is 1000-1200 mg daily but it’s been found that its better absorbed if spread out over the day instead all at once.  Great non-diary calcium providing foods include sardines, salmon, almonds, kale and broccoli.  Vitamin d and k help build strong bones too.  Magnesium is important because it helps activate vitamin D.  Other nutrients that are great for bone health include collagen (for bone flexibility), zinc, and omega oils.  Specifically, omega oils provide an anti-inflammatory response and are protectors against bone loss as we age.  You can boost your omega 3’s with fish and plant sources like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

These recommendations as well as maintaining a healthy weight can not only keep you from losing bone mass and developing brittle bones but also actually increase it.  As we age, it becomes more difficult to build new bone, but not impossible; so work on building stronger bones and muscles to help battle osteoporosis, keep you more stable and  prevent injury in the future.

Dr Greg is an active resident of Twin Creeks in Allen, TX and his background is in acupuncture, health psychology, and chiropractic. He is with CA Acupuncture and Chiropractic Clinic located at 1101 Raintree Circle, Suite # 288, and can be reached for questions or appointments by phoning 972-747-0928.

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