Life

How to Build Stronger Bones

Adopt these habits for lifelong bone health—here's the toolkit you need to promote skeletal growth and strength.

Adopt these habits for lifelong bone health—here’s the toolkit of everything you need to promote skeletal growth and feel stronger.

Get the Right Vitamins and Hormones

Build strong bones

Calcium, Vitamin D, hormones, and exercise are the primary factors that affect the health and strength of your bones. Getting the right amount of each is essential to keeping your skeleton strong and vital throughout your life.

See also: The Best Way to Build Bones

Stay Active

feet running outdoors

Progressive-resistance exercise such as jogging, jumping, or walking, where you move your body or a weight against gravity while you remain upright, has been shown to help strengthen and maintain bone density.

Do Yoga

Unlike some other weight-bearing activities, yoga won’t damage cartilage or stress the joints. Instead, it lengthens muscles and holds them there, creating tension on the bone. Practice postures like Plank PoseTriangle PoseBridge Pose, and Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog poses. Moving the body against resistance—as is done in Chaturanga Dandasana—can also help strengthen bones.

Breathe to Restore Your Body

pranayama nose

Pranayamayoga nidrameditation, and restorative asanas such as Corpse Pose can shift your automatic nervous system from sympathetic (fight and flight) to parasympathetic (reset and restore), which helps encourage bone growth.

Eat Well

greens, lettuce

Add these calcium superstars to your diet:
Salmon, almonds, tofu, soy products, miso, and seaweed
Dark green veggies (especially broccoli, kale, and zucchini)
Dried and fresh fruit (apples, pineapple, bananas, oranges, and peaches)
Calcium-rich herbs: nettles, horsetail, sage, oatstraw, borage, raspberry leaf, and alfalfa.

Beware of Calium Robbers

Foods with too much protein or salt have been shown to actually leach calcium from bones.

Limit These:
high-acid foods
meat
cheese and Eggs
processed foods and canned goods
carbonated soda, coffee, and alcohol

Get More Vitamin D

mushrooms

Vitamin D helps your body absorb and utilize calcium. You can get it from the sun’s rays, but adding D-rich foods—like salmon, sardines, eggs, and mushrooms—is a good choice to make sure you’re getting what you need.

Watch Your Posture

When you slouch you place uneven weight on the thoracic vertebrae. Over time, this can leave them prone to stress fractures. Practice standing, sitting, and walking with the same attention to alignment that you bring to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to help strengthen the back muscles and improve your posture.

Practice Ahimsa

Above all else, make ahimsa (non-harming) your first priority. This means listening to your body and responding in a way that supports your skeleton instead of stressing it—even if it means cutting back on intense yoga workouts or giving up some comforting habits. Your bones are worth it.