Your body has more than 200 bones and joints that help you run, jump, walk, dance, and more. Keeping your bones and joints healthy is important for you to live and experience life fully.
Fortunately, we know what you can do to keep your bones and joints in tip-top shape and functioning properly.
How to keep bones and joints healthy
Joints are where your bones connect, or join together. Some joints don’t move much at all—like the ones in your skull, and some move a lot—like the ones on your knees and shoulders. Your bones give your body support to move and provide protection to your internal organs. Below are some ideas of what you can do to protect your bones and joints as you age:
We all need physical activity to stay healthy. A good rule of thumb is to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Walking, running, weight-lifting, or playing sports are just some ideas to get you started. You can also try exercises that are easier on your joints, like swimming and cycling. If you have joint pain or injuries, you may also want to explore using a brace or other protective equipment. The key is to stay active without overdoing it.
Calcium and vitamin D are key to giving your bones and joints what they need to stay strong. Here are a few food suggestions for you:
- Veggies, especially greens like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and kale.
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy, like cheese, milk, and yogurt.
- Calcium-fortified foods are also a mainstay. Some orange juice, cereals, breads, etc., have been fortified with vitamin C.
- Supplements or multivitamins might help as well. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends you get at least 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D each day.
Things to watch for
Some activities and medications can actually affect your bones and joints.
- Smoking not only damages your lungs but also your bones, making it more difficult for you to absorb calcium from your diet.
- Some medications that help other parts of your body may have a detrimental side effect on your joints and bones. Corticosteroids can decrease bone density and make you more prone to breaks. Talk with your health care provider here at Horizon Family Medical Group: 1-800-859-0085.