The month of May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Creekside Center for Women would like to inform you about Osteoporosis and how you can keep your bones healthy. According to the CDC, Osteoporosis or “porous bone” is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Osteoporosis leads to an increased risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip, and spine. Did you know you have more than 200 bones in your body? They hold you up and, along with your muscles, keep you moving so it is important to take good care of your bones.
Besides calcium and collagen, bones also contain water, minerals, and cells that grow and change. Even though most of the bones you’ve seen may have looked all dried up, they are really alive and growing inside you. Bones are always growing and reach their peak mass by age 20.
There are a few things that we can do to help keep our bones healthy. Strong bones need:
- Calcium – When your body makes new bone tissue, it first lays down a framework of collagen. Then, tiny crystals of calcium from your blood spread throughout the collagen framework. The hard crystals fill in all the nooks and crannies. Calcium and collagen work together to make bones strong and flexible.
- Vitamin D – This important vitamin helps your bones use the calcium they get from the foods you eat. Not many foods contain vitamin D, so it is added to common foods like milk, orange juice, yogurt, and cereals. You can also get vitamin D from canned tuna, salmon or from sunlight.
- Bone-strengthening activity – Activities that include running and jumping, like soccer or basketball, make your bones work against gravity. Activities, like swimming and riding a bike, are not as bone strengthening because the exertion against gravity is lessened in these activities. Bone-strengthening activity helps form new bone tissue. Weight lifting is an excellent way to improve bone mass as well as muscle mass.
Whether you go outside, go to a gym, or exercise at home, the most important issues are to get moving as well as ingest plenty of Vitamin D and Calcium in order to strengthen your bones and prevent Osteoporosis.
How do you keep your bones strong?