How Can I Have Healthy Bones?

There are 206 bones in the human body.  Each are necessary for support, movement and protection of our delicate organs and spinal cord.  Bone health is essential to maintain normal posture, structure and function of the human body.  Diet, exercise, and posture are some of the best ways to insure strong and healthy bones.  Consider the following in your daily routine to promote strong bones and teeth for many years to come.

  • Eat a diet rich in Calcium and Magnesium and/or Take High Quality Supplements.  Green leafy vegetables, dairy products, sardines and salmon are your best choice for a diet rich in calcium.  Magnesium can also be found in dark leafy vegetables as well as nuts, avocados, beans and fish. Recommended daily intake of calcium is 1200 mg and magnesium is 300mg taken in the appropriate ratios with each other.  It is particularly important for post-menopausal women who are at risk of fracture to consider supplementation as always eating the proper diet can be a challenge for all of us.

  • Get Plenty of Sunshine and/or Take Vitamin D Supplements.  Here in the Pacific Northwest sunshine can be a problem.  Studies indicate the upward of 70% of Northwesterners can be deficient in Vitamin D.  Particularly in the winter time supplementation is essential.  Recommended daily dose for healthy bones in 1000 IU per day.

  • Limit Caffeine Intake.  Excessive caffeine decreases your body's ability to absorb calcium.  This included sodas as well as coffee and tea.  Teenage girls are particularly susceptible to calcium deficiency associated with sodas and pops which can lead to osteoporosis later in life.

  • Limit Alcohol Intake.  Excessive alcohol reduces bone formation and inhibits recovery of injured bone.

  • Stop Smoking.  The chemicals in cigarettes harm bone cells and decrease the ability of your bones to absorb calcium.  Stop It, just stop it.

  • Get Plenty of Weight Bearing and Muscle Building Exercise.  Weight bearing exercise keeps bones strong.  Walking, dancing or aerobic exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week will do the job.  Also muscle strengthening exercise with free weights, weight machines or resistance bands will keep your muscles and bones strong.