Staying healthy in your older years starts when you are young. What you eat and how much you exercise in your childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood impacts your health and well-being later in life. This is especially true when it comes to bone health. Incorporating bone-building foods like dairy products in your diet and engaging in regular exercise early on can help you build and maintain strong bones so you can stay active throughout your life.
Fortify your Frame
When you are building a house, you need a strong frame to hold everything in place. Your body is no different. The bones that make up your skeleton are your body’s frame or support system. If this support system is weak, you are more likely to break a bone.
Start Early with Dairy Products
The peak time to build strong bones is during childhood and adolescence. By early adulthood, we can no longer make our bones strong and during the rest of our life, we can only lose bone that we’ve built early on. This is why the younger years are so important. If you build strong bones early on, you are more likely to have stronger bones in your later years.
Resistance or weight-bearing exercise builds bone density. This can be achieved with exercise equipment or simply using your body weight. In addition to weightlifting, resistance exercises can be performed by walking, running, or playing sports like soccer or basketball.
Grab a Glass of Milk or Other Dairy Products
Milk is packed with a trio of bone-building nutrients: vitamin D, calcium, and complete, high-quality protein. Choose from any variety of white or chocolate milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk. It’s real milk with all the same nutrients, just without the lactose.
Include milk at meals or drink an ice-cold glass after you exercise. Milk is not only good for your bones, but it also helps you rehydrate and replenish carbohydrate stores while fueling your muscles with high-quality protein.
Fortify your frame and fuel your future with resistance exercise and bone-building nutrition with dairy products. To learn more about dairy and bone health, click here.
Marie A. Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, is one of the country’s leading sports nutritionists. She is the previous major league sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Braves (2017–2022; World Series Champions 2021), Atlanta Falcons (2017–2020), Atlanta Hawks (2009–2020), Atlanta Braves minor leagues (2012–2014), former Atlanta Thrashers (prior to their move to Canada) and Blackzillians (MMA). Spano also consulted with the Chicago Cubs.