Bone Strengthening and Why It Matters

     Our bones are 50% mineral crystals and 50% protein. Bones are a major storage site for minerals such as calcium. Bones provide structure and protect our heart and lungs. Bones and muscle help us move.

     Bone mass changes across the lifespan. Peak bone mass is reached in our early twenties and then we gradually lose bone mass with age. Females experience a dip in bone mass due to changes in estrogen and other hormones which is why women are at higher risk of osteoporosis as we age compared to males.

Why does it matter?
When bones become thin, weak, and brittle this can make them more prone to fractures and breaks, even with minor injuries or falls.
We cannot control certain risk factors such as genetics and family history but our lifestyle choices can help prevent bone loss as we age, specifically by diet and exercise.

Eat a healthy diet and make sure to include:
Calcium – green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, salmon, sardines, almonds
Vitamin D – exposure to sunlight, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, eggs
Protein – quinoa, almonds, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, chicken, beef, brown rice
Canada’s Food Guide recommends ¼ of your plate should be protein foods.

Exercise for musculoskeletal health:
Exercise is good for our muscles and bones at any age and helps stimulate bone health and prevent bone loss. During an Essentrics class, we strengthen our muscles, use imagery for resistance training and use body weight to build strength and endurance. The workout also includes balance exercises and functional movements to keep us strong and mobile.