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Keeping Your Bones Healthy

There is a total of 206 bones in the adult human body, so why wouldn’t you want to take care of them? It’s never too late to think about how you can take care of your bones and ultimately avoid injury too. The stronger your bones are, the less likely they will break when you experience a slip or fall. We know that when it comes to overall health maintenance, strengthening your bones probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. That said, here are several thoughts to keep in mind.

Nutrition 

One of the easiest ways to promote healthier bones is through the foods you eat. Consuming foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D will do wonders for your bones. Calcium is found mostly in dairy products but dairy has a high fat content and can contribute to weight gain. Try low-fat or Greek yogurt to add more calcium to your diet.

If you are lactose intolerant there are many sources of vegetables that will suffice, and you get the added benefits of other vitamins that they carry. Also, green vegetables are the best source for calcium. This includes broccoli, bok choy, spinach, and kale. Take a calcium or supplement will also provide benefits. Lastly, by simply by going outside and soaking up the sun your body is absorbing vitamin D. There are also over the counter supplements that can be purchased in capsule form or drops.

Exercises 

To avoid joint replacement surgery, this means more than just eating the right foods. Maintaining an active lifestyle is another great way to keep your bones healthy. Regular fitness keeps many health issues at bay and bone health is one of them. Sitting down for too long and on a regular basis is one of the risk factors for osteoporosis which can lead to having to seek a knee or hip specialist in Green Bay or Appleton.

Taking part in weight training and muscle strengthening will bode well; keep in mind that small strides are worth feeling good about! Going out for a brisk walk will aid in bone health. If you are already sticking to a workout routine, including time for resistance training such as incorporating light dumbbells will also help your bones to stay strong.

If going to the gym and walking is a little too bland for your taste, taking up a physical activity such as a dance glass or even swimming at your local pool. Learning a new sport like tennis, will get you active and be a lot of fun too.

Lifestyle

Next, you may want to reconsider lifestyle choices. While this category still includes exercises and nutrition, it’s more about the unnecessary actions we do that don’t enhance our overall health, especially in the bone department. One example of this is smoking. It’s all about kicking your vices to the curb, which is easier said than done. Thankfully, there are programs that target addictive lifestyle choices to help those that need it.

Not only does smoking deteriorate bone tissue, other choices such as caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol interfere in your body’s function to absorb proper nutrition for healthy bones. To put this fact into perspective, elderly individuals that consume more than two cups of coffee a day speed up the deterioration process of bones because of the negative effect caffeine has on vitamin D. This isn’t to say you should abandon your favorite dessert or morning coffee, but be more mindful about how much you consume.

Improve Balance

This sounds like an odd way to keep your bones healthy, but it actually works. Simply put, by improving your balance you can prevent falls so your bones do not have to go through the strenuous process of rehabilitation and healing. Especially for older individuals or those with poor eyesight, this can decrease your ability to balance yourself, thus resulting in falls and injury.

Improving balance can be done in several ways. As mentioned earlier, training exercises will help or taking Tai Chi and yoga classes will improve your center of gravity. Learning to have better posture will help in addition. Lastly, regular hearing and vision checks will also act as a preventive fall measure. Isn’t it interesting to see how taking care of one part of your body will assist another function!

Family History 

Genetics are also vital in understanding how to take better care of your bones. Of course, you can’t change your family history, but knowing about past diseases or issues will put you in a better position for understanding your own body. If you happen to visit a knee or hip specialist for joint and bone issues, your family history may be a topic of interest.

Any Questions?

Request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute. Call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.

OSI has convenient locations to serve you. The campus in Appleton includes clinics, a surgery center, MRI, physical therapy, and a skilled nursing facility, as well as a walk-in clinic that provides care for new orthopedic injuries. OSI has outreach clinics in Green Bay, New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location at 600 N. Koeller Street in Oshkosh.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.