Build Stronger Bones For Spring!
We are starting to see the snow recede and the temperatures rise. There is a sense of renewal in the air, and this is a wonderful time to focus on building bone strength.
At Summit, we know that some of the committed athletes we treat don’t allow dark winter months to keep them from their exercise routines. They run on trails or treadmills through cold, snowy days, or pursue fitness goals by hitting the gym or doing laps at the pool.
If your commitment to fitness wasn’t quite so consistent this winter, don’t despair! We’ve got four ways for you to jumpstart your bone health as the days get warmer and sunnier. Follow some or all of these suggestions, and you’ll be ready to step into outdoor activities this spring and summer.
- Gather seasonal bone-healthy spring produce. The local farmers markets and grocery produce aisles will soon be carrying a fresh selection of seasonal vegetables filled with the nutrients your bones need. When you are shopping for bone-healthy foods, look for asparagus, broccoli, kale and other greens.
- Spend time in the sunshine. Our bodies need vitamin D to build strong bones. Although you can take vitamin D in supplement form, exposing your skin to sunlight is the best way to obtain the vitamin D you need. You need some sunlight, but you don’t want to overdo sun exposure. Approximately 10 to 60 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every week usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.
- Check your weight. It’s not unusual to put on a few pounds during the winter. Inactivity in combination with holiday celebrations and cold weather comfort foods can leave our clothes fitting a bit snug. That extra weight takes a toll on joints over time. If you let your exercise routine slide while the snow fell, this is a great time to renew your commitment to fitness.
- Get out and walk. Walking is an easy way to get in the weight-bearing exercise we need to build bone, and it can help us lose any extra winter weight. Thirty minutes outside each day is good for our bones and helps us get the vitamin D our bones need.
Remember to ramp up slowly if you are starting a new exercise routine to avoid an injury. Taking these steps toward better bone health is a wonderful way to greet spring in good health and a sunny mood.
More resources for you
Summit Orthopedics knee expert Dane Hansen, D.O., explains why you shouldn’t wait to have your knee replaced.
A physical therapist explains what you can expect during your first physical therapy appointment.