We tend to pay less attention to our bone health, as bone-related problems are considered old age problems. Most people do not know that small everyday habits make you prone to bone-related disorders. Even though you might not feel its effect now, you will undoubtedly have to deal with the consequences later.
Our bones provide structure, protect internal organs, and store calcium. While the crucial time for bone development is during childhood and adolescence, new bones continue to form, and old bones break down throughout your life. Increasing age and other factors affect the formation of new bones, and you start losing more bone mass than you gain, resulting in osteoporosis, where the bone becomes porous and prone to fractures. The habits that might be hurting your bones are:
1) Not Getting Enough Sunlight
We all know that sunlight is necessary for vitamin D and how vital vitamin D is for our bones. Vitamin D protects your bones and helps the body absorb calcium. When exposed to sunlight (more specifically ultraviolet B), your skin makes vitamin D from cholesterol. According to the American National Osteoporosis Foundation, adults (below 50 years) need 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D a day, and those above 50 need 800 to 1,000 IU. So if you are not getting sufficient vitamin D from the sun, ask a doctor online for supplements.
2) Being Too Lazy
Not just exercise, but not being physically active makes your bone weaker. When you move, you make your bone stronger. Along with strengthening the muscles, exercising also toughens the bone. Instead of sitting all day in front of your television, keep moving. Dance, run, jog, or do whatever you like, but just do not be lazy. Staying in the same position for a long time prevents proper blood flow and tires your muscles and joints.
Smoking and the use of any other tobacco products affect not only your lungs but also have detrimental effects on your bones. Various studies have linked smoking to osteoporosis. Smoking cigarettes slows down the new bone-building capacity of the body, making the bones weak, porous, and susceptible to fractures. Nicotine also restricts the blood supply to joints, which puts smokers at a higher risk for joint problems.
4) A Lack of Sleep
Most of us ignore sleep problems. But a disturbed sleep pattern has a major impact on our health. Studies have linked sleep apnea, a type of sleep problem, to bone problems. Not getting the recommended hours of sleep every night is also said to affect the bone marrow, which can lower bone flexibility. Bone flexibility is important to prevent fractures. A study also showed that sleep deprivation could affect the formation of new bones.
5) Eating Salty Food
The more salt you intake, the worse your bones become. Excess sodium makes the body release calcium in the urine. A woman might lose up to 1 % of her bone density each year by consuming just one extra gram of sodium every day. So avoid consuming processed and canned foods, as they are high in sodium.