Posted on 7 July 2023
Bone health advice for summer – how to keep bones stronger
Summer is a glorious time with sunshine providing our bodies with vital vitamin D. If you’re concerned about your bone health, grab your sunscreen, throw on your shades, and get outside! Getting enough Vitamin D is critical to building stronger bones, but it’s not the only thing you need to do to improve bone health.
Here’s our guide on how to build stronger bones during the summer.
Why building stronger bones doesn’t stop in summer…
During summer, our bone and joint health is less of a priority. The warm weather can make us feel happier and healthier. As a result, it’s easy to forget, amid the fun, that our bodies, specifically our bones, face unique challenges during this sunny season.
Did you know that the increased heat and extended daylight hours can cause dehydration and Vitamin D deficiency? Both of these things are bad news for our bones, but there are ways you can fight back.
So, what can you do? Here are 4 things you need to know about building stronger bones this summer.
1. The importance of bones!
Bones provide structure and solidity for our bodies, but they also play a vital role as a storehouse for essential minerals. They also produce red and white blood cells and keep our organs safe. During summer, we put our bodies under extra strain. We walk more, travel more, and do more – so we need to get serious about protecting them.
Extended exposure to heat can cause dehydration which can impact our bones. Specifically, it can reduce lubrication in joints and increase the risk of fractures.
While we’re telling you to get out in the sun, you need to be careful. While sun exposure can help produce Vitamin D, spending too much time in the sun without proper protection can lead to other health complications like skin cancer.
2. Building bones, but protect your body
When the temperature rises, you’re going to sweat more. This can quickly lead to dehydration which, as we’ve stated before, can impact your joint health. As a result, maintaining staying hydration is your first line of defence.
During the summer, experts recommend drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. If you’re spending time in the heat or exercising more, then drink more. Grab a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated!
The sun is a vital source of natural vitamin D, and it’s crucial for better bone health. But getting too much can lead to other health problems that can impact you. Instead of spending all day in the sun, you should try to get between 10 – 30 minutes. Try and expose your face, arms, legs, and back without sunscreen (if possible), but be careful to protect your bones.
3. Eat for better bone health
The summer is a time for BBQs and healthy salads, not heavy meals – but you still need to ensure you’re eating for better bone health.
Calcium is the building block of bones, and your diet should include healthy sources of calcium. We’ve written a lot about healthy eating for stronger bones, but aim to eat dairy products, leafy greens, and oily fish like sardines and salmon are rich in calcium.
If you’re not able to get out in the sun or worried about your vitamin D levels, then add extra through your diet. Foods like fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks are high in Vitamin D. You can also find vitamin D added to some fortified foods, like cereals and juices.
Of course, you can also still take a vitamin D and calcium supplement throughout the summer.
4. Exercise for stronger bones
Vitamin D alone won’t build stronger bones (sorry). You also need to stay active and engage in weight-bearing exercise. Some great exercises for bones include weightlifting, hiking, jogging, and even dancing. You should aim to exercise for about 30 minutes a day (if possible).
Of course, if you have bone health problems, running or weightlifting won’t help – but walking can. Aim to get out and walk every day if possible. For more information, you can check out our guide on healthy exercises for stronger bones.
FAQs – How to build stronger bones in the summer
1. Can my diet alone provide all the nutrients needed for bone health?
While a balanced diet can provide a significant portion of the nutrients needed for bone health, it’s not going to provide the vitamin D you need. If you’re worried about your bone health, consider taking a daily supplement for vitamin D, and others, including calcium and magnesium.
2. How do I know if I am getting enough Vitamin D?
It’s hard to know if you’re getting enough vitamin D. However, the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, frequent sickness, bone pain, and depression. The only way you’ll know for certain is with a vitamin D test. The good news is, taking vitamin D supplements is incredibly unlikely to lead to an overdose.
3. Are there any specific exercises to avoid for bone health?
Older people and those with osteoporosis should avoid high-impact exercises. It’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor about doing any exercises, particularly if you’re worried about bone health.
4. Why is water important for bone health?
Water makes up a significant portion of our bones. Plus, it helps nutrients reach the bones and facilitates the removal of waste products. In the summer heat, it’s even more important to stay hydrated to prevent joint discomfort and other health issues. The advice is to always keep a bottle of water handy to keep your bones healthy!
5. Is summer the only time I should worry about my bone health?
No, you should be investing in building stronger bones throughout the year. However, summer brings unique challenges, like dehydration and extended daylight hours, so you’ll need to adjust what you eat, drink, and do each day to protect your bone health.
Build stronger bones this summer
In the summer, you still need to work hard to build stronger bones. By staying hydrated, staying smart with your sun exposure, and using supplements to get the right vitamins and minerals, you can stay healthy.
As Stronger Bones, we’re on a mission to improve the UK’s bone health. Taking daily supplements can give your bones an essential boost – and you’ll find the best selection at Stronger Bones. Spend £25, and you can enjoy free shipping in the UK. Shop today to improve your bone health!