Here are eight effective steps that will help you to improve your bone health.
- WEIGHT LIFTING: Weight-bearing workout is crucial for new bone formation. Researchers at the Bone and Joint Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre in Michigan discovered the best bone-building exercises included jumping for the lower body, and racquet sports such as tennis for the upper body.
- REST IS ESSENTIAL: Road cycling on consecutive days can increase bone resorption (breakdown). Rest periods are vital to stimulate bone growth — so mix up your training with weight-lifting exercise and include downtime.
- EAT CALCIUM-RICH FOODS: Calcium from dairy foods is readily absorbed, and the protein-rich content of milk and yogurt makes them perfect for cyclists. Milk is useful for post-workout recovery thanks to the combination of protein and sugars, plus it replaces calcium and sodium lost in sweat.
- GET SOME SUNSHINE: Our body can’t absorb calcium without the help of vitamin D. Ninety per cent of our vitamin D is obtained from sunlight exposure, so try to expose face, arms, and hands for 10-15 minutes a day from April to September, and consider a supplement during winter months.
- MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Obesity and low body weights are bad for bones. Being lean is fine, but avoid extreme dieting practices or unnaturally low body weight.
- DON’T SMOKE Smoking is bad for for your bones and your health in general. Enough said.
- DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL: Drinking too much alcohol interferes with calcium absorption and heavy drinking has been associated with a greater risk of osteoporosis.
- CONSIDER A BONE DENSITY SCAN: If you have a family history of osteoporosis or have often suffered fractures, talk to your GP about whether you need a bone scan.