The word ‘bone’ usually brings to mind something, hard, inanimate, almost lifeless. In truth though, bones are a vibrant, living, growing tissue that supports many activities crucial to our physical health.
The magic in our bones
Did you know that bones anchor our bodies, organs, muscles, and tissues? They assist with balance and coordination. They also store minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, and release them into the body when needed for other purposes. They also support key circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems. Throughout our lives, bones give us strength, mobility and protect us from injury.
An interesting fact: bone density typically peaks around 30 years of age. Another fact is: once the human body grows to its adult size, it completely regenerates itself around every 10 years. The process that replaces old bones with new bone tissues is called bone remodeling and is needed to keep the human body strong. With age, though, bones change and require special care.
Maintaining bone health is important, particularly as we age. Gender, too, plays a role. Women, on account of being smaller than men, typically have lesser bone tissue and smaller bones. Also, once they hit menopause, estrogen levels dip, leading to lower bone strength. This makes them susceptible to fractures and breaks even during minor falls.
Maintaining bone health
Here are some basic habits we can use to maintain healthy bones that carry us through life:
- Diet – Our body needs enough calcium, the lack of which can cause osteoporosis. The right amount of Vitamin D is equally important as it helps the body use calcium for maintaining bones. Low-fat dairy products, egg yolks, and fish are some foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D.
- Exercise – Research shows that regular physical activity can reduce falls by nearly one-third in older adults who have a higher risk of falling. It is important to throw in a dynamic mix of exercises like those that provide resistance, bear bodyweight, are high velocity, and challenge balance.
- Spine care – Having a healthy spine, literally the human ‘backbone’, is vital. There are many ways of achieving this, right from the start. Several of our blogs discuss healthy habits as well as chiropractic care that strengthen the human spine.
- Regular medical checkups – Poor bone health can lead to conditions such as low bone mass and low bone density. Periodic testing through ‘bone density test’ can assess bone health and motivate the right action, such as starting on medications or changing one’s diet and lifestyle, for healthy bones.
As something that remains hidden within our bodies, it’s easy to forget about our bones as we aim for overall wellness. Alongside focusing on healthy skin, hair, nails, organs, and blood, we must remember to care for bones, as they are crucial for our healthier living.