Posted on 17 December 2022
5 ways to protect your bones this winter!
It’s the season of coughs, colds, and flu – but we should all get serious about our bone health during winter. Poor eating habits, a lack of exercise, and drinking a little (or a lot!) can impact our bone health.
Christmas is a time to catch up with family, enjoy a drink, and eat mountains of food, so we’re not asking you to stop. But here are 5 evidence-based ways to protect your bones this winter.
#1 Eat healthily (if you can!)
Those with bone health issues, such as osteoporosis, should get a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and calcium. But that’s not all. We should eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, including leafy green vegetables.
Long nights, short days, and freezing cold weather may mean you crave comfort food – and that’s OK. But you should also aim to balance out excess by choosing healthier options when you can.
Previously, scientists thought that people who were overweight or obese had stronger bones. But recent studies have suggested that obesity can affect bone health. Even if it doesn’t, maintaining a healthy BMI is better for your body and overall health.
You can read more in our guide to the best foods to eat for stronger bones here.
#2 Get some exercise
Who wants to go outside when it’s dark and -5º? (Not us.) But we do know that exercise is essential to keeping your bones as healthy as possible.
OK, it’s unlikely that you’ll be lacing up and running a marathon, but all of us should aim to exercise regularly. The experts recommend that people with osteoporosis should regularly get three forms of exercise:
- resistance and impact exercise to maximise bone strength;
- activities to improve strength and balance to reduce falls;
- spinal extension exercise to improve posture and potentially reduce the risk of falls and vertebral fractures.
The evidence and the experts agree that regular exercise is best for your body, bones, and overall health and well being.
Read why exercise is essential to stronger bones here.
#3 Cut down on alcohol and stop smoking
We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but drinking significant amounts over a long period can seriously affect your bone health.
Alcohol impacts the body’s balance of calcium, and it can also disrupt the production of vitamin D, say experts. Together, they can lead to significant damage to your bones and are a leading cause of osteoporosis.
It’s Christmas and New Year, so you’re entitled to a glass or two of something you enjoy. But, if you’re serious about getting stronger bones, follow the NHS guidelines and limit yourself to no more than 14 units per week.
On the other hand, there’s no safe limit for smoking. Smokers are at higher risk of fractures and bone conditions, including osteoporosis.
Basically, smoking will impact your bone health. There’s help available from the NHS if you want to give up.
#4 Enjoy some fresh air
We produce most of the vitamin D our bodies need from the sun. Now, it may be grey outside at the moment, but you will find some sunshine during the winter!
OK, so it’s not going to be beating down and hot, but it’s important to get out when you can. Chuck on your shoes and get outside for a walk when you can. This essential exercise can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.
If you do get out for a walk, moving briskly will have the biggest positive impact on your bones.
#5 Get the vitamins and minerals you need
Ensuring you get the vitamins and minerals you need is one of the best things you can do for your body and bones. The three major supplements you should consider taking if you’re worried about your bone health are:
- Vitamin D
Taking a daily supplement that contains one (or all) of these vitamins can ensure that you get the vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium that you need.
At Stronger Bones, we have the best selection of bone health supplements around. You’ll find brands including Vitabiotics, Higher Nature, Solgar, BetterYou, and more, all at the lowest prices.
As well as supplement tablets, you’ll also find vitamin sprays and gummies. Spend over £25, and you’ll get free Royal Mail shipping as well.
Before taking any supplements, you should speak to your doctor. Some supplements can react to prescription medicines, so it’s always better to be on the safe side.
You can read our guide to the best vitamins for bones and joints here.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Stronger Bones
As we approach the end of 2022, all of us at Stronger Bones want to wish you a Merry Christmas and New Year and hope for a happier and healthier 2023!