Growing your bones is more than just consuming a whole lot of dairy food and hoping for the best. What you do on a daily basis, from exercising, eating, to lighting a cigarette, affects your skeletal system as a whole. Thus, if you’re truly interested in maintaining healthy bones, it’s time to quit those bad habits for good.
So what kind of bad habits should you be looking out for, exactly? Well, we’ve listed five examples that can bring about a number of problems in your quest for healthy bones. Take a look and see if you’re ready to drop them from your daily lifestyle!
1. Snuff Out That Cigarette
While it may be tempting to take a puff, recent studies have shown that cigarettes can reduce bone mass to unhealthy levels. This is because of the numerous toxins that are present in the smoke, which affects your body’s ability to produce specific hormones that keep the bones strong.
It doesn’t end there, however. There are plenty of other health consequences that come about in lighting a cigarette. From an increased rate of fractures, a higher chance of bone complications, to a slower healing rate in broken bones, a smoking habit will not do any favors for your skeletal health.
2. Lose The Booze
Articles have shown that consuming too much alcohol can disrupt your body’s ability in maintaining its bone formation, as well as a deficiency of important hormones and bone-forming cells. Heavy drinking affects your liver and pancreas especially, which in turn, affects your stomach’s ability to absorb calcium from the food you eat.
Deprived from the much-needed nutrient, your bones will slowly begin to break down and increase your risk of further complications. Coupled with the loss of balance that you get when you’re drunk, a likely fall may lead to a lasting health problem in the long run!
3. Get Some Sunshine
Is your skin as pale as a vampire? Perhaps it’s time to get more sunlight for not only just a tan, but for the sake of your bone health as well. Your body receives a natural boost of Vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun’s rays for ten to fifteen minutes, which greatly helps you absorb calcium from your diet.
For those staying in places where sunlight is minimal, experts have advised on increasing your intake of food rich in Vitamin D, such as tuna, salmon, cheese or even a supplement. Especially during the winter season, where sunlight is unpredictable, it’s often best to check with a doctor to see if you’re meeting your Vitamin D requirements to avoid bone deficiency diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia.
4. Start Working Out
As much as it’s tempting to sit on your couch and surf through the channels for the weekend, it’s probably best if you spend the time outdoors instead. By exercising, it helps your body increase your bone mass and muscle strength, which in turn, prevents possible falls and fractures.
Articles have specifically pointed out weight-bearing exercises as the best way to maintain healthy bones. Exercises where you move against gravity, such as walking, hiking and climbing, are perfect for strengthening your bones and reducing density loss. Especially for older adults, where their bones may not be as strong as before, it’s best to consult with a specialist to see your workout limits.
5. Watch What You Eat
It may be easy to say that you’ll drink a cup of milk or two to meet that daily calcium intake. However, there’s much more to that if you’d like to keep your bones healthy. Research has shown that large quantities of salty food in your diet can cause negative side effects, as more calcium will be lost via urine with more sodium present in the body.
Instead, opt for meals that are heavy in both Vitamin D and calcium if you’re concerned about your skeletal health. Both of these nutrients work together hand in hand to help your body absorb large quantities of calcium, which can greatly aid your bone development. Good food examples are spinach, collard greens, tuna and eggs.
Has this list given you the inspiration to quit any of the bad habits stated above? While it may be difficult to shed them within a short period of time, you’ll be glad once you’ve finally did in the long run. Numerous bone diseases such as osteoporosis and fibrous dysplasia can be reduced with an overall healthy lifestyle.
And if you’re looking for assistance to help you out in ridding your old habits, we have professional counsellors and nutritionists who can be there by your side throughout the journey and talk you through the rough times. Get in touch with one, right here at CaregiverAsia!
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Written by Teo Youliang Hakim
A CaregiverAsia writer, Hakim loves nothing better than to spruce up informative content for the readers, especially if it helps to make the world a better place. Other than that, he also enjoys the occasional chocolate chip cookie or catching reruns of F.R.I.E.N.D.S on the telly!