With over 200 bones, the human skeleton has the all-important function of providing structure and support for the body, while protecting vital organs. The task of caring for the bones is one that shouldn’t be ignored, regardless of one’s age. This week’s Healthy Living article details some dos and don’ts for taking good care of your bones.
• Laugh More:
Enhancing bone health should certainly include a dose for fun and laughter. Chronic stress, anxiety, and fear create health issues, including the disruption of neuroendocrine functioning and weakening of the bones. Many studies confirm that laughter helps to decrease stress, improve immune function and even reduce response to pain.
More so, Proverbs 17:22 (VOICE) says, “A joy-filled heart is curative balm, but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone.”
Consciously expressing the true nature of your divine life in Christ with mirth is good for your body, and will go a long way in preserving your health.
• Eat Better:
Eat a wide variety of foods, which contain vitamins and minerals that aid bone formation, nourishment and strengthening. For instance, yellow and green vegetables are rich in vitamin C which encourages the production of bone-forming cells. Dairy products contain calcium, to strengthen the bones and maintain the bone reconstruction process.
Proteins are vital for tissue building, and about 50% of the bone is protein; so you might consider increasing your protein intake. Magnesium and zinc play crucial roles in building bone mass and maintaining bone density. Omega-3 fats also protect against bone loss, especially in adults. Good sources for these include beef, shrimp, spinach, flaxseeds, oysters and pumpkin seeds.
Also, be conscious of how much salt you consume, as the increase in sodium intake leads to loss of calcium through urination. The bones need calcium to stay strong, so a significant drop in calcium levels will affect bone health. Always use salt moderately and rely on herbs and spices to season your food properly.
• Move More:
Weight-bearing exercises build bone mass and also improve posture and balance; these include running or jogging, aerobics, dancing, stairs climbing, etc. Also, don’t forget to take time to stretch; it promotes flexibility and joint mobility. Strength-training exercises like lifting weights will also help. To achieve maximal benefits with minimal risk, proper breathing and proper techniques are important factors for safe lifting.
• Make Every Day D-Day:
Vitamin D helps the bones absorb calcium. Especially in children, the lack of vitamin D may cause bone weakness, bowed legs, or stooped posture. The most common source of vitamin D is the sun, so you will benefit from spending time outdoors. Some supplements could help if you live in a region with shorter days. Also, some soy drinks and kinds of margarines are also vitamin D enriched.
• Maintain a Healthy Weight and Diet:
Being too thin or too heavy can negatively affect bone health. Maintaining a stable weight, rather than repeatedly losing and regaining it, can help preserve bone density. Diets providing too few calories have been found to reduce bone density, especially when combined with resistance exercise. Consume a balanced diet with at least 1,200 calories daily to preserve bone health.