5 Surprising Ways to Get Stronger Bones

HEALTH  |  October 20, 2016
  • 1. Work those muscles
    1 / 5 1. Work those muscles

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    While cardio workouts are important for one’s heart health, strength training is key to healthier bone health. Weight-training exercises help to build up muscle mass and increase bone density to lower your risk of osteoporosis. Dr Leong adds that you should aim for weight-bearing or resistance exercises. “Swimming is not as useful, as it is not anti-gravity,” he says. If you’re not ready for heavy lifting, you can also look at traditional exercises like Tai Chi, as well as walking on pebble paths to help train stability. (Also Read: 4 Reasons Why Walking Is Great for Weight Loss)

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  • 2. Cut the salt!
    2 / 5 2. Cut the salt!

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    A high sodium diet will increase the amount of calcium we excrete from the body through urination, some of which is leeched directly from your bones. According to a Japanese study involving over 200 older women, those who consumed the highest amount of sodium had more than four times the risk of getting fractures. On this note, Dr Leong also cautions that many of the condiments used in Asian cooking (think oyster sauce and soy sauce) already have salt in them, so it’s best to go easy on the seasoning.

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  • 3. Soak up the sun
    3 / 5 3. Soak up the sun

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    When it comes to bone-building, you also need vitamin D as it helps the body better absorb bone-boosting calcium. Your body can produce it through sun exposure, so head outdoors for 10 to 15 minutes a day. Dr Leong adds that ageing reduces the skin’s ability to synthesise vitamin D, so the elderly can look to taking oral supplements to boost their D levels. (Also Read: 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Sunshine)

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  • 4. Go easy on the coffee
    4 / 5 4. Go easy on the coffee

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    While there are studies that show no association between coffee and bone loss, others have found that coffee drinkers tend to have more brittle bones. Caffeine leaches calcium from bones, so take no more than three cups of java a day. Don’t cut it out completely though, cause coffee has been shown to have numerous health benefits as well! 

    (Also Read: 9 Benefits of Drinking Coffee You Probably Didn’t Know)

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  • 5. No smoking please
    5 / 5 5. No smoking please

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    Studies have shown a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Women who smoke have lower levels of oestrogen and tend to hit menopause at a younger age too, both of which are factors for accelerated bone loss. 

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