How Calcium affects exercise – ensuring your bones stay strong

Special guest blog by Rachel Lawes from the Health Hub, Evesham…

We all know calcium as being the nutrient that makes our bones stronger.  We all remember being told as children “drink that carton/glass of milk, else you will never grow strong” right?

But what if I told you that the effect Calcium and its partnered nutrients, such as vitamin D has on exercise was significant, would you believe me?

Ldies on treadmills
The Health Hub in action

What happens to calcium during exercise?

Every time you break a sweat and push your limits your calcium levels will decrease.  Yes, you actually sweat out calcium!  It is recommended that you have a glass or another intake to the same nutritional value before any exercise; why?  Perfectly simple:  it will help to keep your blood levels more stable, thereby minimising the chances of any nutritional imbalances or even worse, losing calcium altogether.

The more stable our blood levels, the more oxygen to our vital organs, the better the workout – and this means you can push yourself that little bit further and lose that extra weight, tone that little extra and end up feeling healthier, happier and more confident.

You need a strong frame as without it, you have less chance of increasing that vital muscle mass and your body will struggle more under any added weight!  The less calcium and vitamin D you provide your body, the less chance you have of progressing towards your goals.

However, the right exercise will help increase bone density by increasing muscle strength and solidifying that frame provided you ensure your adequate calcium intake.

What is going on inside your bones?

So, for all those amongst you that don’t bother with ensuring you have a sufficiently high calcium intake yet exercise on a weekly basis or even just once a month, the chances are your bone density is either decreasing or is very minimal.  And a deficit in calcium does in-fact increase the parathyroid hormone and that’s the one thing you really DON’T want – they truly are the bad guys of the situation!

The parathyroid hormones are responsible for actually breaking down your bones, an issue that is of even greater importance to women – and the older you are, the more important this is.  So, in order to have that strong, healthy physique you are working for and to avoid problems like fractures, splints and conditions such as osteoporosis, you need a healthy and well maintained intake not just of calcium but vitamin D too.  To look better on the outside we also need to remember to look after the important stuff, the stuff inside – just because we can’t see it does not mean that it isn’t there!

Knowing what to do – when and how to get optimum calcium intake:

Calcium remains one of the most important elements in bone health, but it is crucial that you have enough vitamin D and magnesium with it and you need to find the best format for you:  there is controversy around milk and whether it is the best way to provide calcium, but if you like a glass of milk, go for it.  Natural, organic yoghurt is another way, but if you do not want to have dairy products, a truly high-quality calcium supplement is essential – and something we would always recommend in addition to a healthy diet especially to both teenage girls and women over 40!

Getting that right balance of nutrient intake and exercise will have an almost immediate impact on your health.  Understanding the relationship of one to the other can make all the difference and making all those actions part of your daily routine will not just help you reach your goals in the short term but will ensure you live a happier and healthier life long-term!

Group shot of ladies after exercise
The Health Hub team after another great session!

Thanks to the wonderful Health Hub team for their continuous leadership and inspiration on exercise, fitness and health!!!


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