Maintaining proper care of your bones and muscles involves everything from nutrition to exercise to lifestyle. Your musculoskeletal system is very reliant on your body’s overall health, and you will do well to keep this system strong.
Diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors all play a part in keeping your bones and muscles in the best condition possible. Let’s talk about how to maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system, and where you can go in St. Charles County for world-class orthopedic care.
Facts About Bone and Muscle Health
Our bones protect our vital organs, provide structure, store and share calcium, and anchor our muscles – thereby allowing us to move around as we wish. Bone is continuously changing, and new bone tissue is developing while old bone tissue is being broken down.
Bone mass can deteriorate due to a number of factors, including:
- A low-calcium diet
- Not getting enough vitamin D to process and maintain the calcium
- Not getting enough physical exercise
- Drinking alcohol
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Past bone fractures
- Hormones (e.g., too much thyroid hormone, low testosterone, low estrogen levels)
- Having an eating disorder
- Taking certain medications (long-term corticosteroid use, some cancer drugs)
Therefore, we can help to fend off the natural deterioration of calcium in our bones by taking supplements of calcium and vitamin D (talk to your doctor about the recommended daily amount for you), exercising regularly, and following a healthy lifestyle.
In regard to muscles, there are more than 600 muscles in the human body, and they play an important role in our functioning – from allowing us to walk around to enable us to digest food. There are three types of muscle: cardiac (heart muscle), skeletal (to enable voluntary movements), and smooth (facilitating involuntary internal movements, such as the intestines and blood vessels). It is important to maintain muscle health in order to move freely, avoid injuries, and stay strong.
Calcium and Vitamin D for Muscle and Bone Health
Eating a diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D can help to maintain both bone mass and muscle health. Calcium-rich foods include:
- Dairy products
- Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, and kale)
- Almonds and almond milk
- Canned sardines
- Canned salmon
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Oily fish
- Red meat
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified milk
- Egg yolks
Direct sunlight onto the skin is also a source of vitamin D, but care should be taken to avoid sun damage. Supplements are available if you are not getting enough calcium and/or vitamin D in your diet.
Protein for the Bones and Muscles
Proteins are key to maintaining and strengthening muscle and bone health. Muscles are mostly made up of proteins. Foods that are high in protein include:
- Red meat
Physical Activity to Stay Strong
Daily exercise helps to maintain and improve both muscle and bone health. Weight-bearing physical activity such as walking, jogging, dancing, and climbing stairs can help you maintain strong bones.
Exercising and using your muscles will keep them strong and prevent them from atrophying. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine in St. Peters and O’Fallon, MO
If you have a musculoskeletal (orthopedic) injury or condition, or if you would like to find out how to keep your bones and muscles in peak condition, schedule a consultation with the experienced physicians at Advanced Bone & Joint. Our orthopedic doctors and sports medicine specialists offer a wide range of treatments, and we will evaluate your condition and explain the solutions that would work to keep you strong and healthy.
To schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (636) 229-4222 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!