Bone Density is Important Throughout Your Lifespan
While many people think bone density is something they will not have to worry about until they are older, the most important time to build your bones is during adolescence and your 20’s. Peak bone mass is typically reached in your mid to late 20’s, and stays quite steady until it starts to decline in middle age.
Unfortunately, if you have not built up enough bone mineral in your youth you may not have any to draw upon when you really need it, which is later in life.
Building Better Bones
Calcium is vital for building strong bones. It is also necessary for muscle contraction, nerve transmission and other essential roles, making it essential for human function. If you do not consume enough calcium your body will take it out of your bones, leading to lower bone density and potential osteoporosis further down the track. Make sure you eat enough calcium every single day; the Australian Recommended Dietary Intake is 1000-1300 mg/ day. Great sources include calcium-fortified soy, dairy, green leafy vegetables, fish with edible bones (salmon etc.), nuts, and seeds.
WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE
Weight bearing exercise is vital at every age for building bone mass and strength. Walking, resistance training, and running are great forms of weight bearing exercise and can generally be continued throughout your life.
Along with all its other roles, vitamin D is essential in helping your body absorb calcium from food. Vitamin D is produced in the body from direct sun-to-skin contact (not through glass) and is also found in small amounts in fortified products, egg yolks and oily fish. Vitamin D fortified dairy is an especially beautiful combination for bone health.