Bones are often thought of as the scaffolding for the body. That’s true and bones do so much more. They protect our vital organs. Without our bones we wouldn’t go too far. Can you imagine muscles trying to move with bones behind the scene? Another vital function of bones is that they give the body a place to create bone marrow. Blood cells are created in bone marrow. Finally, bones store minerals we need, such as calcium and phosphorus. Something so important deserves special care. Be cautious about these 5 things that are known to cause harm to your bones.
Not Enough Sunlight
People who spend more time indoors than they do outside enjoying the sunshine don’t get enough vitamin D. This vitamin is critical for bone health. If you live in Suffolk County, NY, you have about 205 days each year that you can get a little sun. All you need is 15 minutes of sun several times each week. On those gloomy winter days, you can help your bones by adding vitamin D-fortified milk, juice, or cereal to your diet. If you’re concerned about too much dairy, try using almond or soy milk.
Too Much Sitting Around
Exercise, even light movement, helps bones grow strong. In the past, mobility wasn’t such an issue until a person started aging. Today, sedentary lifestyles are affecting even younger people. We spend hours every day working at computers, sitting or lying down while watching TV, or simply not being active. Movement is essential for healthy bones. The best exercise for bone health is a combination of strength straining, weight bearing, and balance exercises. Get up and move! Your bones will thank you.
A Heavy Hand with the Saltshaker
Talk about sodium is everywhere. You hear about it on infomercials, medical TV talk shows, and from your doctor. Maybe you’re concerned about how much sodium you’re getting in your diet. According to Linda K. Massey, a nutrition professor at Washington State University in Spokane, table salt weakens calcium in bones. While we should still check labels on the processed foods we eat, it’s also a good idea to cut down the amount of salt we sprinkle on food. Check with a specialist in orthopedics in Suffolk County, NY, to determine the appropriate salt intake for your needs.
Drinking Too Much Soda
If you’ve heard about too much sodium, you’ve likely heard just as much about drinking too much soda. What’s so bad about a cold refreshing soda? Sodium, phosphoric acid, and caffeine all contribute to calcium loss, which you already know isn’t good for your bones. You can help by reducing the amount of soda you drink and replacing it with water, milk, or fortified juice.
Smoking Isn’t Good for Bone Health
Cigarette smoking affects the entire body. As far as bone health, smoking makes it harder for your body to form new bone tissue. This sets you up for fractures. Broken bones in smokers often take longer to heal. Long-term smokers are at an even higher risk for breaking bones. Aside from damage to other parts of the body, bone health is one reason doctors encourage their patients to quit smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor for advice on quitting.
No matter what age you are, you can do things to improve your bone health. Make an appointment today with your provider at Peconic Bay Medical Center.