What’s one of the most important and yet most invisible parts of your body? Your skeleton. Your bones act as a framework for your body, allowing you to move and even to stand upright. Naturally, your bone health requires the same care you’d give to any other aspect of your body.
While it’s not usually the first thing to come to mind when discussing healthy habits, bone health is an essential part of wellness. A variety of choices you make can influence how strong your bones are, for better or worse. Let’s take a look at how to keep your skeleton strong.
Factors that Influence Bone Health
One common bone condition many people deal with is osteoporosis. Meaning “porous bone”, this disease occurs when the body stops producing enough bone or starts to lose bone entirely. This causes the sponge-like framework inside your bones to become thinner and weaker. As your bones weaken, you’re far more likely to break a bone from a fall or even from a bump if the disease progresses far enough.
A variety of factors can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, including:
- Excessive alcohol or tobacco usage
- Being female (women tend to have lower bone densities than men, increasing their risk as they age)
- Low-calcium diet
- Low physical activity
- Being of Asian or Caucasian descent (both groups experience osteoporosis at higher rates than others)
- Dangerously low BMI
- Eating disorders
- Digestive disorders
- Drastically elevated or lowered hormone levels
- Some prescription medications (talk to your doctor for details)
How to Care for Your Bones
Risk factors you’re born with, like race, can’t be changed or managed. However, adopting a few beneficial habits can promote healthy bones and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Three habits in particular are especially helpful.
First, if you drink or smoke, try to break the habit or at least reduce your usage. Limit yourself to two drinks per day or less. Wean yourself off high amounts of tobacco and alcohol.
Second, find time for exercise and general physical activity. Exercises like tennis or walking place weight on your bones, encouraging them to become stronger and healthier. Find a workout that works for you and maintain it consistently.
Third, pay attention to your diet. The two most important micronutrients for good bone health are vitamin D and calcium. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in both nutrients or take supplements if you’re concerned about getting enough. Talk to your doctor about how much of each your body requires.
Plan for Future Care
Finally, know your risk of osteoporosis and plan accordingly. This is especially important if you’re in a higher-risk demographic or have a family history of bone disease. Consider having a bone density test performed and discuss the results with your doctor. With a detailed profile of your bone health, you and your doctor can make plans to keep your skeleton healthy.
Keep Your Skeleton Strong
Your skeleton plays an important role in keeping your body sturdy and healthy. Don’t neglect your bone health! Learn how to build strong bones and keep your skeleton healthy.
Contact us to learn more about caring for your entire body.