Exercise is important for mental and physical wellbeing and today we will turn our focus on how the health and integrity of our bones allow us to reach our optimal fitness goals. The skeletal system provides many functions within the body other than allowing for movement. Bones allow for cell production, a storage site for minerals (which are essential for muscle contraction), protection of vital organs and structure of the body.
How to promote stronger, healthier bones and joints:
Within each joint is synovial fluid. This fluid allows for smooth movement of the bones. As we age, this fluid tends to decrease causing more pain and restriction within the joints resulting in pain and even arthritis. Studies have shown, moving the body can promote an increased production of clean synovial fluid. Meaning, regular exercise and movement of the body produces healthy, lubricated joints.Where regular movement promotes healthy joints, weight-bearing exercises will stimulate stronger more dense bones. Some examples of weight bearing exercises, also classified as calisthenic movement, are: push-ups, hand weights, lunges, squats, walking, running, calf raises, crunches and sit-ups (almost all of these are utilized in DEFINE classes).
While getting the body moving is crucial for maintaining health and integrity in the skeletal system, other factors can come into play as well. While many may think that you only need to address integrity of the bones later in life, in reality promoting the health of the skeletal system should start in your teens. Early in life bone formation is greater than bone reabsorption, and as we age more bone loss takes place. The following nutrients are crucial to help promote and maintain adequate bone integrity and they are easy to incorporate into your diet.
Calcium– Eat plenty of kale and leafy greens!
Magnesium– Beans, whole grains, raw seeds and nuts
Vitamin D– Salmon, mushrooms and sunlight!
Vitamin K– Dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts, asparagus, prunes
Vitamin C– Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines), dark leafy greens, peppers
The first three nutrients are synergistic, meaning they interact and absorb better when taken together. So keep working hard and striving towards your fitness goals! Exercise does more for the body than you might realize. It helps repair, replenish, and revitalize the body inside and out!
See you next week!