Close this search box.

Bones – The Body’s Framework

Childhood and the adolescent years are critical stages for bone growth and development, setting the foundations for life. In fact, about half of an adult’s bone mass is built up during this time.

Looking after our bones in our younger years can have a positive impact on our bone health. Throughout life, our bones constantly undergo a natural process of ‘remodelling’ where old bone is replaced by new bone. The ability to remodel bone naturally slows down as we age. This can contribute to age-related bone loss, making bone health a priority throughout life.

The health of our bones is determined mainly by factors that we cannot control such as genetics, gender and age. However, there are factors that we can control such as the foods we eat and the type of physical activity that we do.

Muscles – The Power Within

Keeping muscles healthy is not just a task for athletes; we need our muscles to perform everyday activities such as housework or going up the stairs. A focus on building and maintaining muscle throughout life can help us to stay strong, active and independent, particularly as we age. Our muscles are vital for movement, supporting our skeleton and positioning our posture, but they also play a vital role in our metabolism.

Key Nutrients

Along with a balanced diet and sufficient energy intakes, there are certain nutrients which play specific roles in the health of our bones and muscles:

Keeping Active

Weight-bearing, resistance-style exercises are particularly important for bone and muscle health – these include activities where your body must work against a force, such as gravity. Examples include skipping, running, tennis, dancing, brisk hill walking or simply climbing stairs. Exercises such as stretching, Pilates or yoga can be particularly beneficial for posture and supple joints. The National Guidelines on Physical Activity recommend that adults take part in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on five days a week (or 150 minutes a week), while children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day.

Other healthy lifestyle habits for healthy bones and muscles are to maintain a healthy body weight, refrain from smoking and if you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.

For more information on bone and muscle health, visit; or download our ‘Bone, Muscle and Joint Health’ booklet here