The Importance of Bone Health
Since we were young we have been told to have a glass of milk to keep our bones strong and healthy. However, as we get older many of us forget the importance of maintaining good bone health.
Bones play a major role in keeping our body healthy. They help us maintain proper structure and protect our organs and muscles. As we age our bones tend to wear down, which is why it is so important to maintain good bone health into out adulthood.
Here is a short guide of all of the things you need to know about your bone health and why it is so important.
Why is Bone Health Important?
Bones are an essential part of keeping your overall health in optimal condition. But as bones are naturally breaking down every day and rebuilding themselves in tiny amounts, it is critical to making sure you take care of them properly.
When you were young this was not too much of an issue since your body was able to create new bone mass quickly and efficiently. Whereas, when you get older your body cannot rebuild bone mass as quickly and you tend to lose more bone mass too.
Another reason why bone health is so important is because you want to decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis when you get older. This is a condition that causes your bones to become weak and fragile.
Therefore, if you maintain your bone health, you are more likely to increase your bone mass. This means that you will lower your chances of developing diseases like osteoporosis and other bone health issues.
What Affects Bone Health?
There are many factors that can affect your bone health. You have control over some of these while others are out of your hands. Here is a list of some of the possible things that can affect your bone health.
As you become older your bone health will not be as strong as it once was. This is because, as you age, your body does not produce bone mass as quickly and efficiently as when you were younger. This can cause you bones to become weak and fragile.
Unfortunately, females have less bone mass and tissue compared to men. Therefore, women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. In addition, when females hit menopause, their estrogen decreases, which causes bone loss. On the other hand, some men will lose bone mass as their testosterone decreases.
3. Physical Activity
People who do not engage in physical exercise as part of their daily routine are more prone towards unhealthy bones and osteoporosis.
A diet that has little calcium can decrease bone mass, loss and density. Therefore, it is important to have calcium apart of your regular diet in order to maintain good bone health.
5. Alcohol Use
Research has linked overuse of alcohol to weak bones and loss of bone mass. Research has also shown that more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day can increase the chances of developing osteoporosis.
Research has linked race to bone health issues and osteoporosis. If you are Caucasian or have an Asian background, you have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. In addition, if your body type is petite and your body frame is small, you also are at higher risk of having bone health issues.
7. Eating Disorders
People who have eating disorders are at higher risk of bone loss and other bone health issues. In addition, surgical procedures like stomach surgery and weight loss surgery cause the body to have difficulties absorbing calcium efficiently, thereby causing bone health problems as well.
8. Some Medications
Long-term use of certain medications can cause bone damage and increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
How to Keep Your Bones Healthy
Maintaining good bone health is not as difficult as you may think. There are many different ways in which you can ensure that you will have long lasting and healthy bones. Here are a few of the simple things you can do to maintain optimal bone health.
1. Get Calcium
Making Calcium a part of your diet is one of the most efficient ways of achieving good bone health. You can find it in cheese, milk, yogurt and many other foods and beverages.
Recommended calcium levels:
|Adults 19 to 50 years of age||1,000 mg per day|
|Men 51 to 70 years of age||1,000 mg per day|
|Women 51years of age and older||1,200 mg per day|
|Men 71 years of age and older||1,200 mg per day|
2. Remember Vitamin D
In order for the calcium in your body to work you need vitamin D to help your body absorb it. Therefore, it is important to try and get your recommended vitamin D throughout the day. You can find vitamin D by getting some sun, or eating oily fish, egg yolks, fortified milk or Vitamin D supplements.
Recommended vitamin D Intake:
|Adults 19 to 50 years of age||1000 IUs per day|
|Adults 51 to 70 years of age||800 to 2000 IUs per day|
3. Stay Physically Active
It is important to be physically active. in order for you to main and build strong and healthy bones. You can do this by participating in exercises like walking, jogging, dancing etc.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Refrain from smoking and do not drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day. These activities can decrease your bone mass and also put you in greater risk of osteoporosis.
5. Consume Less Coffee
Many people are coffee lovers and coffee does have some health benefits; however, coffee has zero benefits towards your bone health. This is because over consumption of coffee can pose a threat on your body's ability to absorb calcium. Therefore, it is important not to overdo it on your coffee and stick to 2 cups a day or less.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.