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4 Secrets to Better Bone Health No One Tells You

05th January 2016
img: whartonds

Remember when you were young and you thought you were invincible?

Sure, maybe you actually never thought about it, but you probably acted like you believed it. Think about some of the crazier things you did when you were younger.

Would you ever do those things now?

img: sidehike, used under cc by-sa 2.0


At some point everyone realizes that they won’t live forever.

And as an extension of that thought comes the realization that it’s time to start making decisions now that will reap benefits in the future, like saving money for retirement, investing in a house or other large purchase, and making better choices for your health.

Something I’ve been obsessing over lately is obstacle races. I love anything that gets me challenging myself in new, scary, physically challenging ways. 3-meter-high walls followed by a jump into an ice-cold lake? Let’s do it! Dodging electrically-charged wires while crawling through mud? Bring it on!

As much fun as these adventure races are, at some point—usually while I’m charging down the side of a mountain at full speed through mud, ice, and snow—I have what I call a mortality moment. That’s when I remember that I am not invincible, and the possibility of me rolling my approaching-middle-age body down the mountain in a tangle of broken bones becomes very real.

Unfortunately, trying to stop yourself from running down a mountain is a really good way to fall.

The point is, we all need to stop and consider our mortality every now and then, for our own health. And when we do, the health of our bones should be one of our first considerations. After all, what good is living into your 90s if your bones are too weak to hold you up? I don’t know about you, but I want to be fully mobile as long as possible.

Here are some tips you can start using now—or as soon as you have your mortality moment—for better bone health.

1. Don’t believe everything you hear.

Contrary to popular belief, you can rebuild lost bone mass. Russian cosmonauts who have been in space begin to lose a significant amount of bone and muscle mass. They use whole body vibration technology (WBV) to recover from this loss and get back to normal levels. You can try vibration training with a home vibration machine or find one at a gym; you can also make gains through weight training.

2. Consider your overall health.

According to Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD; when you improve the health of your bones, the rest of you gets healthy too! Dr. Brown says, improve bone and you will improve:

  • Metabolic fitness
  • Muscle strength
  • Teeth and gums
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Cardiovascular health

3. Take a look at your life.

Many lifestyle factors that influence bone health are more prevalent in our country than in other parts of the world and so, therefore, is poor bone health. Things like chronic stress, a sedentary life (hello, desk job!), smoking and excessive drinking all contribute to weaker bones. Make changes gradually to take steps to better health.

Tied to your desk? Read how to combat the effects of a sedentary job.

desk slump

Ergonomics: You’re doing it wrong. (Img: LetTheCardsFall)

4. Look at the whole picture.

Owing itself to more than any one factor, bone health is a sum of many parts. Estrogen levels, vitamin intake, general nutrition, exercise…it all comes together to determine whether your bones will continue to be the strong framework your body needs as you age.


Possibly the two biggest tips are to start now and assume you’re at risk. Bone health isn’t just for post-menopausal women. Everyone needs to consider their bones. And while you can’t go back in time and change the risky behaviors of your youth—mud run, anyone?—you can make changes now to age with grace and strength.






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