That thing you do that puts your bones at risk
Women who can’t get out of their chair without using their arms have twice the fracture risk of those who can stand up effortlessly. Men over 50 are more likely to have a bone weakening-related fracture than prostate cancer.
When you talk about healthy living, you tend to think more of your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart health and less of your bone strength. Bear in mind that a weak skeletal system can never hold a healthy body; this should be reason enough for you to start taking care of your bones. And yes, there’s more to bone health than calcium. Here’s a list of factors that make your bones weak:
- Not going for a regular walk. Astronauts who spend time in little or no gravity lose bone mass. This means that the force of gravity on your bones, which is achieved during weight-bearing exercises like walking, helps keep them strong and healthy. Your body is not meant to be still for long periods of time; it’s designed to move.Walk, run, do yoga, or pick any form of exercise and practice it at least three times a week. But make sure you don’t overdo anything. Too much exercise is as big a problem as lack of it. However, the norm is it’s not that we exercise too much, but it’s that we don’t exercise at all!
- Smoking. Smoking reduces estrogen levels in both men and women. Estrogen is an important hormone because it helps the bones to hold calcium and other minerals that make them strong. During menopause, a woman’s body makes much less estrogen. This puts women more at risk for bone weakness. So if you’re a smoker, do yourself a favor and start a plan for dropping cigarettes.
- Drinking too much. High levels of a hormone called cortisol (seen in people with alcoholism) slow down bone formation. Too much drinking also increases parathyroid hormone, which leaches calcium from the bone. Oh, and excess alcohol kills osteoblast, the bone-making cells.But lest you want be called a killjoy, you know that you can’t deny yourself the occasional drink – be it during after-work happy hours or family get-togethers. At least find a way to limit your alcohol intake to two drinks. Your bones will thank you for it.
- High salt diet. Adding salt to every dish robs your body of calcium. A high salt intake causes your system to leak calcium in your urine, some of the calcium will be directly taken from your bones. Limit the amount of sodium you take by reducing processed foods and cooking without adding too much salt.
- Avoiding the sun. Vitamin D is crucial to bone health as it aids in calcium absorption, and the best way to get vitamin D is by having a safe sun exposure. Try to go out for about 10 minutes in the sunlight between 10 am and 2 pm, the optimal window to get vitamin D. The more skin that is exposed the more benefits for your bones. If you can’t do this or don’t have the time, you may want to consider taking supplements. But before you do, have your vitamin D levels checked first.
Test4D allows you to determine your vitamin D status as you wait without any lab equipment. Knowing whether you have the right level of vitamin D lets you determine what vitamin D dosage to take, for how long or even if you need any supplementation at all!
Schedule an appointment at the BioBalance clinic for a complete nutritional diagnosis related to bone health and discuss with our wellness doctors on how to optimize skeletal strength.
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For inquiries contact our BioBalance Wellness Concierge.