New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Improving Bone Health is Necessary for Everyone

The bones in our bodies are responsible for more than just helping us to stand up straight and walk around. They provide us with a sturdy frame, they protect our organs, and they keep our muscles in place. Taking care of our bones is very important because if we do not, we could develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones can become weak over time, which puts you at risk for breaking bones like your wrist, hip, or spine. While everyone can be at risk for developing osteoporosis, women, post menopausal women, older adults, and people who don’t take in enough calcium and do not exercise are more at risk for developing the disease. Making sure that we take in plenty of calcium and do weight bearing physical exercise on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis.

Not only do our bones give us structure, protect our organs, and keep our muscles in place, they also store calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is very important for our bodies to have to be able to keep our bones healthy. Our bodies are not able to produce calcium, so we must get it from the things we eat and drink. Low-fat and non-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, and calcium-enriched foods like orange juice, cereal, and bread are great sources of calcium. The recommended amount of calcium that an adult aged 19-50 should take in is 1,000 milligrams per day and for an adult aged 51 and higher is 1,200 milligrams per day. Vitamin D is also another important thing to add to your diet because it helps with the absorption of calcium.

In addition to making sure that we have enough calcium in our diets, weight bearing exercise is also very important to keep our bones healthy. Weight bearing exercises are helpful for our bones because they force us to work against gravity, which makes them stronger. Examples of weight bearing exercises include physical activities such as walking, running, tennis, basketball, hiking, dancing, and weight lifting which can all help keep our bones healthy and strong. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should engage in moderate physical activity including weight bearing exercise for 30 minutes per day on most or all days of the week.

A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a diet rich in calcium are two ways to take care of your bones. Be sure to check with your physician or nurse if you have any questions about your bone health.