Bone Health Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Halloween is here, and you might be thinking that this holiday has lost its childhood charm. While monsters and ghosts don’t seem so exciting anymore, we want to talk about something that should matter at any time of the year: skeletons. They don’t have to be scary, and with Bone & Joint Health National Action Week a few weeks back, you might want to consider paying more attention to yours. It’s no secret that a healthy and well-rounded diet, along with essential nutrients, can prevent bone disease but there’s more you can do to proactively reduce your risk.

Understand Your Risk Factors

According to the American Bone Health Organization, gender and age are the largest factors when it comes to determining your non-modifiable risk factors. For example, women are more prone to fractures than men due to having naturally less dense bones and are also predisposed to poor bone health due to the reduction in estrogen at menopause. Genetically, if one of your family members has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it means that you’re more likely to be diagnosed as well. Studies have also demonstrated that race and ethnicity impact bone health: African Americans, Hispanics, and Latin Americans typically have higher bone density than those who are white or Asian, meaning that their bones are stronger.

While there’s not much you can do about your age, race, or family, you do have control over your modifiable risk factors. Change is never easy, and we’re here to help you take the first step to stronger bones and a healthier version of you. Read on to find out if any of these factors in your life might be contributing to poor bone health.

Kick the Smoking Habit

The relationship between bones and smoking is clear: those with a history of smoking experience more fractures and higher rates of bone mineral density loss. Women who smoke are more likely to experience menopause at an earlier age, contributing to diminished estrogen secretion. Additionally, smokers tend to have lower physical activity and BMI, which can also contribute to poor bone health. The National Institute of Health recommends quitting as soon as possible to minimize your risk for developing a bone-related health problem. Not sure how? Visit BeTobaccoFree.gov for more info.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

A healthy diet can minimize your risk for fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone-related health issues. Even if you don’t have problems now, you can bet that poor eating habits will catch up with you later. You might have noticed that our last blog about bone health recommends a well-balanced diet for protection against diseases like osteoporosis. Foods that support bone health include dairy, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. For those with diet restrictions, it’s possible to get these nutrients from other non-dairy foods such as salmon, leafy greens, tofu, eggs, nuts, and beans. No matter where you’re getting your nutrients from, make sure to eat a healthy balance—studies show that individuals who consume high amounts of acid-producing food (such as dairy, eggs, meat, and processed foods) without enough alkalizing foods (like most fruits and green vegetables) tend to have worse bone health. Additional evidence suggests that protein, particularly from plants, is important to your bone health since muscle protein synthesis is stimulated by intake of amino acids. 

Not sure where to start? Chat with one of our registered dietitians today. 

Eating well and exercising are important for your bone health.

Hop on the Treadmill 

You probably knew this was coming, and we can’t avoid it. While most associate exercising with muscles, your bones can also benefit from exercising regularly. People who exercise frequently report improved mood, reduced anxiety, higher energy levels, and improved sleep quality. Studies show that people who are more active have greater bone mineral density than those who are more sedentary. If you’re considering adding exercise to your daily routine, make sure you receive clearance from your doctor.

  • Type of exercise: Resistance exercises are extremely beneficial for older adults, but it may not be for you if you’ve recently experienced a fracture or other type of injury. When creating a plan, focus on all parts of your body, particularly your core and back. Using weights, bands, and other tools might help improve your agility and flexibility as well.
  • Frequency: The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of exercise every day, while the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes spread throughout the week. 
  • Work with a trainer: A personal trainer can make all the difference when it comes to finding your perfect exercise routine.

The Baze-ics

If you’re someone who’s ready to take control of their own wellbeing, Baze is the place to start. Our state-of-the-art technology can tell you what you’re not getting enough of, and what you need to dial back on. Just as too little magnesium and vitamin D can be detrimental, blindly supplementing these nutrients is often more harmful than helpful. Let Baze focus on your nutrients, so you can focus on other areas of your life that impact your bone health. That might mean moving more, quitting a habit, or building a new one. It’s time to take bone health into your own hands- use Baze as your partner to help you do that. 

References:

Knapen, J., Vancampfort, D., Moriën, Y., & Marchal, Y. (2015, July 1). Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression. Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 37, pp. 1490–1495. https://doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2014.972579

Lederman, O., Ward, P. B., Firth, J., Maloney, C., Carney, R., Vancampfort, D., … Rosenbaum, S. (2019, February 1). Does exercise improve sleep quality in individuals with mental illness? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol. 109, pp. 96–106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2018.11.004

Benedetti, M. G., Furlini, G., Zati, A., & Mauro, G. L. (2018). The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients. BioMed Research International, Vol. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4840531

Curtis, E., Litwic, A., Cooper, C., & Dennison, E. (2015, November 1). Determinants of Muscle and Bone Aging. Journal of Cellular Physiology, Vol. 230, pp. 2618–2625. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcp.25001

Al Anouti, F., Taha, Z., Shamim, S., Khalaf, K., Al Kaabi, L., & Alsafar, H. (2019). An insight into the paradigms of osteoporosis: From genetics to biomechanics. Bone Reports, 11, 100216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bonr.2019.100216

Weitzmann, M. N., & Pacifici, R. (2006, May 1). Estrogen deficiency and bone loss: An inflammatory tale. Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 116, pp. 1186–1194. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI28550

American Bone Health. (2016, September 28). Fracture Risk Factors. https://americanbonehealth.org/bone-density/fracture-risk-factors/

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