Bone density loss is more common as the body ages. And weakened bones increase the likelihood of diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Certain things should be avoided to promote healthy bones and maintain bone strength.
Top Things to Avoid for Healthy Bones:
The more salt you eat, the more calcium your body excretes. Salt is not a friend to bone health. You do not need to cut salt altogether from your diet. Aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Foods that contain the highest sodium content, such as:
- Processed meats
Everyone has a favorite show. And it’s easy to sit in front of the TV for hours. Being nestled in your couch is comfortable. However, not good for your bones because they do not move around. Exercise makes your bones stronger. In fact, carrying your weight forces your bones and muscles to work every day. So, you need to stay active to keep healthy bones.
Cycling is a great exercise and a great way to reduce pollution, and it’s a good exercise for heart health, too. Unfortunately, it is not so great for your bones. It is not a weight-bearing exercise, so it does not strengthen bones. If you do cycle often, add in weight exercises too. Or, mix up your routine with some hiking, swimming, or walking. These all improve bone strength!
The body can produce vitamin D as a result of sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is crucial to bone health. When you spend most of your time indoors, you miss out on this. Just 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week is enough to keep your vitamin D levels high. This also prevents too much exposure and leaves you vulnerable to skin cancer. You can also add fortified foods to your diet to get additional vitamin D.
Having one more drink is easy to succumb to when out on the town. However, alcohol contributes to bone loss. One drink a day for women and two for men is what is recommended. Alcohol inhibits your body from absorbing calcium. Without calcium, bone density loss can occur.
Too Much Soda
Flavored drinks and sodas can harm your bones. Studies have linked caffeine and phosphorus to bone loss. Drinking these beverages instead of those with calcium reduces bone health. When you have too many, you are depriving your bones of the calcium they need.
Wheat bran cereal may sound healthy, but not with milk. When combined with milk, it causes low calcium absorption. If you do eat this often, such as in cereal, be sure to also take a calcium supplement a few hours before the meal.
Cigarette smoke inhibits the formation of new bone tissue. The longer you smoke, the worse this gets. Quitting reduces risks and improves bone health. The improvement will not be immediate, but bones will regain their strength.
Some medications can harm bones. This is worse when they are taken for long periods. Anti-seizure medicine is known to cause bone loss. Glucocorticoids, taken for inflammation, are also associated with bone loss.
Being overweight gets the spotlight when it comes to healthy bones. However, being underweight is a problem too. Low body weight increases the chance of bone fractures. If you are underweight, consult your doctor in case an underlying condition is a cause. Try weight-bearing exercises and calcium supplements to boost bone health.
As you age, there is a greater chance of a fall. As a child, you were able to get right back up. Fractures take longer to heal when you get older, especially hip fractures. Falls are more dangerous with weakened bones. Always organize your home to minimize falls. Use non-slip mats and grab bars if needed.
Also see, Who is at Risk for a Broken Collarbone.