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Everything You Need to Know About Bone Health

Bone health matters because our bones not only support our bodies but also allow for proper movement. Bones protect the heart, the brain, and other vital organs. They even store essential minerals like phosphorous and calcium, keeping our bodies healthy.

Our bones are important. Thankfully, we can take specific steps to ensure our bones remain strong, including hitting the gym, eating foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium, and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.

If, on the other hand, we don't exercise enough and don't eat the right foods, we put our bones and our bodies at risk. Over time, our bones will become weakened and can even break. Even the most minor bone fractures are painful and may require surgery. They can even cause long-term health issues.

However, it's never too early or late for us to address our bone health.

Osteoporosis: The Most Common Bone Disease

Although many bone diseases exist, osteoporosis is the most prevalent. Osteoporosis causes bone weakness putting them at risk for fractures. Folks with osteoporosis often fracture the bones in their wrist, hip, or spine.

It is important to remember that bones are living. Every day, the human body will break down our old bone, replacing it with new bone. When we age, the body naturally breaks down more bone than it returns. However, if we are not taking the steps necessary to maintain bone health, we can develop osteoporosis from severe bone loss.

Many Americans have weakened bones and are unaware of it since bone loss typically occurs over long periods and doesn't cause pain. For most people, a fractured or broken bone represents the first sign of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Risk Factors

Many risk factors may increase a person's chances of developing osteoporosis. Many osteoporosis risk factors fall within our control, while others do not.

Osteoporosis risk factors within our control include:

  • A diet lacking proper calcium and vitamin D.

  • A lack of regular exercise and physical activity.

  • A low body weight.

  • Cigarette smoking.

  • Alcohol abuse.

  • Certain medicines, including glucocorticoids, seizure prevention medications, and medications used to treat endometriosis and cancer.

Osteoporosis risk factors that are out of our control include:

  • Age. As we age, our chance of developing osteoporosis increases.

  • Gender. Women are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis.

  • Ethnicity. Asian and Caucasian women are at the most significant risk of osteoporosis.

  • Family history. Close family members with osteoporosis can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Signs of Osteoporosis

Because osteoporosis doesn't have symptoms and isn't usually uncovered until a person suffers a broken bone, you must discuss your overall bone health with your physician.

If the doctor thinks you may be at risk, they may run bone density testing, which measures the strength and density of your bones to determine if you suffer from osteoporosis. Bone density tests will also let you know if you are at risk for breaking or fracturing your bones.

Best of all, a bone density test is safe, quick, and painless.

How to Improve Bone Health

As mentioned above, it's never too late for someone to improve their bone health. You can start by taking these steps:

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium: Low-fat dairy items, along with foods rich in calcium, should be part of every diet. Milk, liver, saltwater fish, and egg yolks are rich in vitamin D. You can also use nutritional supplements to boost your vitamin D and calcium intake. Vegetables and fruits also have nutrients that support bone health.

  • Maintain a proper, healthy lifestyle: Don't smoke cigarettes. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

  • Keep an open dialogue with your doctor regarding bone health: Ask your physician to review risk factors and determine if a bone density exam is right for you. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe medications that can reduce bone fractures and slow bone loss.

  • Avoid falls: A fall can cause broken or fractured homes, especially if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Thankfully, most falls are preventable. Monitor your home for dangerous situations such as poor lighting and loose rugs. You can increase strength and balance by walking regularly and participating in yoga, dancing, or Tai Chi.

  • Maintain a healthy exercise routine: Physical activity is crucial to maintaining bone health. Just like our muscles, our bones will strengthen with regular exercise. To maintain healthy bones, you should participate in weight-bearing and strength-building activities.

Improve Your Bone Health in Our Belltown Gym

If you live in the Seattle area and want to start your journey toward increased bone health, make an appointment to meet with one of our private trainers in Seattle at Demco Fitness.

Forget about the big corporate gyms like Soul Cycle, Pure Barre, and Orange Theory Fitness. At Demco Fitness, you'll get a personal community experience that you won't find anywhere else. If you are looking for gym memberships in Seattle where you can connect with a helpful positive community of members and personal trainers, contact Demco Fitness today.

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