The number of people at risk or already suffering from osteoporosis is much higher than many people realise. The worst of it is that many people don’t even know they are at risk.

The body builds around 90 per cent of bone mass by the time you end your teens. After that growth slows and your bones are simply maintained.  Though many people think that looking after bones is something only to be considered in your teenage years, it’s actually important throughout your adult life.

Here are a number of things you can do to encourage strong bones:

Eat Calcium Rich Foods

Most people know that calcium rich foods help build stronger bones. However, calcium also has many other useful functions including  blood clotting and heart regulation. Unfortunately, if your body doesn’t get enough calcium then you end up with weak bones and other health problems. In fact, the older you get the more calcium you should be consuming to keep yourself healthy.

If you are at all worried about the amount of calcium in your diet, try eating more dairy products, leafy vegetables, beans and sardines.

Avoid Certain Foods

There are certain foods that you should try to avoid if you are at risk of brittle bones or osteoporosis. Caffeine is one of the worst contributors to weak bones and greatly increases the risk of fractures. If your protein intake is very high you may also end up with problems. When you eat protein, like meat for example,  your body is forced to use calcium deposits to reduce the acidity. This often means that calcium is borrowed from your bones. Unless your calcium intake is especially high, this can lead to the deterioration of your bone strength and structure.

Get More Vitamin D

This is the vitamin that helps us absorb calcium and it primarily comes from the sun. That said, it can also be found in many fortified juices and sardines. Vitamin K also helps bone strengthening and this comes from green leafy foods such as spinach, broccoli and bok choy.


There are a number of exercises that will help strengthen bones and decrease the chance of developing bone issues later in life. High impact and weight bearing exercises such as running, jumping and climbing all have a positive effect on the structure and strength of your bones.

Of course, some people may not be able to do these because of problems with their joints. In such cases low impact, weight bearing exercises can be just as effective. Activities such as walking, dancing and even step machine workouts all build bone density and help strengthen bones. Unfortunately, swimming and cycling don’t provide enough in the way of resistance to increase density.

Many people go through their lives neglecting their bones. Don’t make the same mistake. It can be really easy to keep your bones in top condition. Look after them now and they will look after you for many years to come.


Victoria Wills (Founder of NuBeginnings)

Read more about Victoria here.