Attention ladies: did you know you peaked at age 30?
You’re bones that is.
As you get older, bone cells reabsorb faster than they are produced, thus minimizing bone minerals, mass, and structure. This increases the risk of fracture. As if fighting the natural aging process was hard enough, there are some additional factors that accelerate the decline in bone such as: low bone mineral density (BMD) prior to age 30, low energy availability (EA), inadequate calcium intake, inadequate vitamin D intake, and improper loading of bone.
We will discuss each of these factors in more depth below, and discuss how you can optimize your bone health whether you’re in you’re 17 or 70!
Get Ahead of the Game!
It is never too early to get ahead of bone injury. Bone reaches its greatest density at age 30 in females; therefore, proper care in your youth bares great benefit.
Let’s say that you were going on a roadtrip to Fairbanks (6-ish hours from Anchorage). It would be a logical idea to fill up your tank before you started the trip for two reasons: one, gas is likely cheaper in Anchorage than along the road. Two, you may run out in the middle of nowhere if you don’t fill up.
Same idea is true with your BMD. You want to nourish (“fill-up”) your bones as much as possible before you hit the age where you’re fighting against the natural bone-aging process. If you wait to take care of your bones later in life, you may run into problem one: expense. Expense of bone building treatments and cost of care following fracture. You may also run into problem two: bones give out and fracture.
This doesn’t have to be your story, and can be easily prevented by proper nourishment and loading in your youth! If you are past age 30, it’s not too late for you. We’ll talk about that more next.
Check out our NEW 6-Week Challenge: Women's Bone Health Boot Camp
DANGER: Low Energy Availability
Energy availability is a significant contributor to bone injuries. If you are not consuming enough energy via calories to support the amount of energy you are burning, your body will leech nutrition from other sources– your bones.
Females– RED-S is a combination of menstrual dysfunction, low energy availability (with or without disordered eating), and low bone mineral density. RED-S is a vital risk factor to consider with bone stress injury, and if you believe you fall into this category, I encourage you to speak with your physician, physical therapist, and/or nutritionist about it. We are always here to listen!
Let’s Talk Calcium and Vitamin D
You ever hear people say, “supplement with Vitamin D!” Many of us (me included), comply, because why not? Vitamin D is good, and us Alaskans don’t get a lot of it, so bring on the supplements, right? While getting enough Vitamin D is vital to our health, have you ever asked yourself why?
Vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health because it helps the body absorb and retain calcium. Without adequate Vitamin D levels, our bodies cannot use the calcium we ingest efficiently.
Calcium helps to harden and strengthen our bones. Calcium is a mineral that our body does not make; thus, it is important we are diligent with its consumption. It simply doesn’t matter how much calcium we consume if our Vitamin D is low and not allowing absorption of the mineral (now are we understanding why Vitamin D is so important)?
Intentional consumption of Vitamin D and Calcium is a “little thing” you can do that provides excellent benefit without much added effort– who wouldn’t be on board with that?
Checkout the Retail Corner at Runners’ Edge for the highest quality supplements and vitamins on the market. We can’t recommend Thorne’s Calcium and Vitamin D enough for their high quality products. Ask us about our Bone Health and Female Athlete Bundles!
This may seem counterintuitive, but loading bone will help build bone– if done correctly. According to Wolff’s law, bone adapts to the load placed upon it. Bone responds to increased magnitude and rate of loading, high-impact loading, and multidirectional loading. These types of activities promote greater bone mineral density gains than repetitive or non-weight bearing sports (running, biking, swimming).
A longitudinal study was performed on adolescent male cyclists and swimmers in which they underwent a countermovement jumping program. Following the jumping program, their bone mineral density improved.
Loading by way of plyometrics is recommended prior to any strength/resistance training. A couple ideas on how to load the bone pre-workout are as follows:
- Pogo hops
- Weighted mini squat jumps
- Jump rope
Doing all the “little things” takes thought, but not much effort. Let’s capitalize on small necessities that make a big difference and get you to your goals!
Let ME help YOU here at Runners’ Edge optimize your abilities and perform to your absolute best! What are you waiting for?