What can really weaken your bones?

Having strong bones is usually not regarded as a priority until the wear and tear that occurs with age begins to manifest with bone loss. Our bones can be really strong. Is it only strong force that can break it? Sometimes, it can gradually wear off to break even with little force. What are those things we should consider to have stronger bones? Building strong bones is extremely important for healthy living. The body accumulates nutrients during childhood and early adulthood to build strong bones and achieves a peak in bone density just about 30 years of age.

Strong bones are vital to aging gracefully
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The risk of weak bones is increased in people who do not achieve enough bone mass before 30 years of age. Eating lots of vegetables can increase bone density that can lead to stronger bones. Also, Vitamin C that is found abundantly in fruits helps the body to produce bone forming cells and though its antioxidant functions prevents bone cells from damage. Having access to fruits and vegetables (mostly green and yellow) during childhood has been found to contribute significantly to strong bones.

Vegetables can help improve bone mass.

Certain people are at risk of weak bones such as the elderly and people that are underweight but still involved in weight bearing activities. For such people, their environment may be made more friendly and less fracture prone by ensuring that things like anti-slip floors are in place. Some persons who are underweight may be required to be placed on supplements especially calcium supplement. Maintaining a healthy weight can support healthy bones as being underweight or obese can lead to weak bones.

Protein helps the body to absorb calcium. Daily intake of protein that is balanced with enough calcium and plant based foods usually have healthier bones with strong bone formation and decrease bone cells breakdown. This is most beneficial to the elderly and women who have achieved menopause.

Immobility, sedentary lifestyle can weaken the bones. Exercise and activity are best for the bones even when one suffers arthritis already. This is because ensuring your skeleton regularly carries the weight of the body against gravity such as during walking, jogging or running strengthens tne skeleton and increases bone density. To ensure stronger bones therefore means that we should walk maore often at least 30mins on most days of the week and best if it is brisk walking.

Staying long hours indoors can prevent sunburn but can also lead to weak bones. Majority of the Vitamin D required by the body can only be obtained by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. Sunlight and your health has been highlighted in a previous post here, kindly refer to it for more information on benefits of sunlight to your health.

Not all activities of repetition can increase bone density. Not all exercises give strong bones. People often wonder why bicycle riders still are at risk of weak bones. Riding bicycle or sitting in vehicles that travel long distances are not weight bearing activities. When you pedal a bicycle, your heart works better and stronger but it does not strengthen your bones. However, we advice that such activities like bicycle riding should be alternated with other fun activities like dancing, jogging and tennis.

Bicycle riding does not strengthen bone.
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The bones require calcium for increase density and hence, strong bones. Calcium is the single most important nutrient for strong bones. There is usually a regular turnover of bone breakdown and formation which makes it important to consume calcium daily. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to poor absorption of calcium. Little quantity of alcohol maybe beneficial to the heart and make it work better but the exact quantity for each individual that is beneficial to the heart is yet to be defined by research. However, the recommended weekly limit for women has been set at 14units and men 21units. In essence, modration is still key in alcohol consumption. Calcium may be vital to bone health but magnesium and zinc are also required for healthy bone. Both are required in trace amounts by the body for increased bone density.

The effects of smoking on the health of humans is numerous and that on bones is not left out. Smoking prevents increase in bone density and enhances bone loss. It prevents the body from forming new and healthy bones through encouraging loss of calcium and other vital nutrients by the body. The longer one smokes, the worse the effects on the body. These can only be eliminated or reduced when smoking is stopped.

Excess sodium can weaken bones. Sodium is a nutrient that occurs naturally in salt and can be found in bread, chips, cheeses and lots of canned foods. Experts say the daily allowance of sodium a day requird by the body is 2,300mg.

Finally, some bone weakens due to the drugs that are prescribed for other ailments. Some drugs used to treat seizures and inflammation if taken for prolonged periods can weaken the human bones. Your physician may include supplements to your treatment if you have been placed on such drugs for a long time. Example of such conditions needing such drugs are epilepsy, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Strong bones should not be taken for granted. Fortunaly, lifestyle modifications exist that can help to build strong bones, maintain healthy bones and prevent weak bones from developing. No matter the age of an individual, it is crucial to start early but never too late to practise habits that can encourage healthy and strong bones.