Things You’re Doing That Are Jeopardizing Your Bone Health

Things You’re Doing That Are Jeopardizing Your Bone Health

Start the new year off by kicking habits that are bad news for your bone health. Resolve to make your bone health a top priority this year.

Your bones are living tissues that are ever evolving. Old bone is constantly broken down and replaced with new bone. By taking steps to protect your bone health now, you can keep your bones strong and boost your overall health.

At Valerius Medical Group & Research Center in Los Alamitos, California, rheumatology specialists Nathaniel Neal, MD, and Rebekah Neal-Kraal, MD, are here to help you keep your bones strong and healthy throughout all the phases of your life. It may surprise you to know that certain daily habits can be harmful to your bone health. Make a plan to kick these habits for good.

Eating too much salt

If you're like most Americans, you're consuming much more than the recommended daily intake of sodium. Prepackaged and processed foods are the biggest culprits of excess salt in the diet. High sodium intake is linked to lower bone density. As sodium increases, your body excretes more calcium through your urine. 

You need calcium to keep your bones strong. Keep your sodium intake in check to preserve your bone health. It's recommended that you consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium each day if you're generally healthy, and no more than 1,500 mg per day if you have certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure.

Spending too much time indoors

Your body gets most of its vitamin D from sun exposure. Spending too much time indoors under artificial light can cause your vitamin D levels to tank. Whether you go for a walk in the park or spend some time outdoors during your lunch break, it's important to get outside. 

Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium. These two nutrients work together to boost bone density and keep your bones from getting brittle. If you're unable to get enough time outside, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement. You can also get vitamin D from certain foods, such as fatty fish and vitamin D fortified foods.

Being sedentary

Being sedentary increases your risk for losing bone mass. Your bones get stronger when they bear weight, such as when you walk or climb stairs. Any activity where you work against gravity is considered a weight-bearing activity, and doing these activities can help you keep your bones strong. 

Choose an activity that you enjoy and that you can stick with. Whether it's playing tennis, going for a hike, or going for a walk, the most important thing is that you get moving. 

Having a poor posture

Slouching when you sit or hunching over an electronic device can cause muscle strain and put your spine out of alignment. Poor posture can also be bad for your bone health and could lead to problems down the line. 

When your spine is out of alignment, it creates excess pressure on surrounding structures and can accelerate age-related changes that harm bone health. Practice having a good posture now to keep your bones as healthy and strong as possible.

Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is tied to many aspects of your health, including bone density. It's important that your body has adequate time to rest and repair itself. Insufficient sleep is linked to low bone density. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night to help stave off osteoporosis and maintain overall health.

While there are things that can affect your bone health that are outside of your control — such as gender, race, and genetics — there are many practical steps you can take to protect your bone health. To learn more about preventing osteoporosis or retaining as much bone density as possible if you have osteoporosis, call 562-294-6533 to book an appointment with Valerius Medical Group & Research Center today.

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