New studies suggest that healthy bones not only prevent osteoporosis, they also slash heart disease risk by 50 percent. The study-proven tricks below will make it easy to boost bone strength and improve your heart health.
Sink into your couch.
Busy days can lead to a major uptick in stress hormone production — and your bones pay the price. That’s because these hormones hamper the body’s ability to build new bone tissue. The simple, fun solution: “Take the time to relax. It reduces stress hormone levels and improves cardiac and bone health,” says Sreenivas Gudimetla, MD, a cardiologist at Texas Health Fort Worth. In fact, research suggests carving out just 30 minutes a day for R&R could keep bones 15 percent stronger.
Dance a little.
You already know dancing gets your blood pumping, but it’s also one of the best ways to fortify your bones. “Dance exercises the heart muscle, and the movements also signal bones to create more cells, improving bone density,” explains Caren Dobreff, RDN, of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, research shows that women over 60 who did Zumba twice a week for six months experienced a 30 percent improvement in bone strength — nearly double the improvement seen in women doing non-weight-bearing exercise. Sign up for a Zumba class at your community center or simply turn up the radio and get moving.
Boost K with yogurt.
Greek yogurt delivers a hearty dose of vitamin K-2, which reduces fracture risk by 65 percent, say Tufts University researchers. “Vitamin K-2 delivers calcium to the bones. Plus, it protects the heart by preventing calcium from building up in blood vessels and hardening the arteries,” says Lani Simpson, DC, author of Dr. Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide ($22.53, Amazon). To get the benefits, enjoy 8 oz. daily.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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