What do you need for strong bones?
Of course, calcium and vitamin D are essential in building and maintaining bone mineral density. But you can’t draw the line there. To really optimize bone strength, you need something you can’t supplement: real muscle.
You don’t need a ton of it, either. Being jacked-up and muscle-bound isn’t necessary, but some degree of muscle strength is. Why? There are two main reasons.
The first is that muscle offers support for bones. It can help protect them from bumps and breaks and provides some essential resiliency.
But perhaps more importantly, the process of building muscle can actually make your bones stronger and boost bone density.
Putting stress on your bones through resistance training forces bones to respond to the pressure by becoming stronger and denser.
And you don’t necessarily need to start squatting heavy weights or doing shoulder presses, either. You can get the benefits with light, regular resistance exercises such as walking or wall push-ups.
The key, really, is to make it a part of your daily routine. If you can get some load-bearing exercise for at least 30 minutes per day (like going for a walk around the block or heading back and forth up the stairs), you’re doing a lot for your bones.
It’s not even necessary to bundle that 30 minutes all up in one, either. You can distribute them in five-minute intervals throughout the day if that’s easier for you.
Sitting less and being more active is important for your bones.
Make exercise a part of your bone routine to go along with calcium and vitamin D. Try to include some more protein in your diet as well to help build the muscle surrounding the bone.
Mat Lecompte is a health and wellness journalist. This article was first published on BelMarraHealth.com.