Dr. MANOJ KUMAR KHEMANI Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon

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4 Tips To Keep Your Bones Strong (Without Exercise)

The bones provide us skeletal structures. They pillar our mobility and overall health. So, it only makes sense that we make proactive efforts in ensuring they are strong and sustainable.

But then most of us rarely care, do we? Even when injured, we would rather hope that it gets fixed than approach a top orthopedic doctor in Kolkata and seek proper treatment. We would rather risk disorders like osteoporosis, fractures and Paget disease than take proper care of our bones.

While ‘prevention is better than cure’ is surely prevalent, the majority do not follow that narrative when it comes to healthcare.

The simplest way to keep your bones and joints healthy is to involve self in the right exercises. Exposed to high pressure and force, your bones adapt to that new “environment” by building more cells and becoming denser. So, to a threshold, the more you work out, the stronger your bones get.

However, we get it: you don’t have the time to exercise. (Read: You don’t care about exercising!)

In that case, there are still ways how you can help your bones stay stronger and healthier. Here are four tips on how to do that:

1. Eat Foods Rich In Calcium

Calcium is the food to our bones.

In fact, calcium is the main mineral in our bones. So, feeding them enough calcium every day is quite important to ensure that old bone cells, which constantly get broken down, gets replaced by the new ones.

Some of the common calcium-rich foods include cheese, yogurt, beans and lentils, leafy greens, almonds, tofu, and milk.

Add more of such foods to your diet and spread them throughout your days at different mealtime.

2. Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein is the most important nutrient that powers and sustains our everyday function. So, you don’t necessarily need any special reason why your daily intake of protein should be adequate.

However, when it comes to strengthening bone, protein helps improve calcium absorption, which then enhances bone formation and decreases breakdown.

Contrary to popular belief, our bones are not made up of calcium only. It is a complex network of strong protein chains over which calcium and phosphorus get deposited. Thus giving them the required strength. When there is a decrease in this protein structure, there is significant loss in the bone strength, leading to fragility fractures.

To that, there have been several studies that suggest that when a large percentage of calories come from protein, it helps preserve our bone mass.

So, give your daily diet a hard look. If it’s low in protein, include more foods that are rich in this nutrient.

Some common protein-rich foods are eggs, chicken breast, oats, milk, tuna, shrimps, peanuts and Brussels sprouts.

3. Get More Vitamin D

No matter how much calcium-rich foods you’re eating, your bones might not necessarily absorb all of this mineral. It needs Vitamin D for that. Interestingly, about one billion people worldwide suffer from deficiency of this key nutrient.

So, your body must get an adequate amount of Vitamin D every day.

Sun is the best source of Vitamin D. But there are also few food items that can ensure a sufficient supply of this nutrient in your body. It includes salmons and sardines, egg yolks, fortified yogurts, milk, margarine, and cheese.

4. Fix Your (Unhealthy) Diet

This is quite a no-brainer. When you’re focusing on healthy eating, the unhealthier part must go.

Junk foods aren’t just bad for our bones but also our entire health.

Foremost, avoid eating low-calorie diets. Even when you’re trying to cut back on your weight, dropping your calories is a bad and unhealthy idea. Provide your body with enough calories through a well-balanced diet. The bones need this to build and stay strong.

In addition, you want to avoid high-salt foods. Avoid too much of Vitamin A and caffeine. Cut back on your alcohol consumption, sugary snacks, inflammatory foods, and red meat.

Conclusion

Even when you’re following all the above-mentioned tips, a sedentary lifestyle remains a villain to the overall health of our bones. So, unless you want to end up at any arthroscopy fracture specialist doctor in Kolkata, you want to avoid being highly inactive.

If you can’t afford the time to exercise, fair enough; do, however, involve self in light physical activities. Like, instead of taking a bus or car, choose to walk to your office; when talking to someone over the phone, use that time to walk; if you spend a lot of time on your desk at home, invest in a standing desk.

There’s a lot you can do to stay physically active. You don’t need to enroll yourself in the gym. All you need is will.