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Bone Health

The skeletal system provides us with five very important functions:

1. It gives us shape

2. It provides support

3. It allows us to move

4. It provides protection

5. It produces and stores blood cells

I think you would agree the all five of the above are crucial to maintaining good health. Nutrition and exercise play a vital role in the health of your skeletal system. For example, what pregnant mothers eat while carrying their child in the womb will affect the eventual bone mass of that child as an adult. The bad news is that all of us will begin to see decreases in our bone mineral density once we reach about 30 years old. Not intervening on this process can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is sometimes known as the ?silent thief? because it proceeds without symptoms. Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and weak bones can result in fractures. Older adults and women going through menopause are especially susceptible to developing fractures. The prevention of fractures amongst the elderly is of paramount importance because if they do, their chance of dying shortly afterwards skyrockets.

Anyway, enough of the negative, because there are strategies you can employ to help slow down bone loss and even strengthen your bones. Nutrition and exercise are two teammates that you have in this battle. The well-nourished body will have the ability to repair any tiny cracks or damage itself ? old bone out, new bone in. However, in poorly nourished people small problems can proliferate into big ones by further weakening the structures. Regular exercise also plays a key role in the health of your bones. The stress that exercise places on bones challenges them to adapt and increase bone formation ? all good things that you want happening.

The following are some nutritional and exercises strategies you can employ to help keep your strong and healthy:

- Get your nutrients from whole unprocessed foods

- Eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables

- Get your vitamin D levels checked to make sure they are normal

- Consider supplementing if needed

- Take no more than 500mg of calcium per day

- Drink alcohol in moderation

- Eat lean protein with each meal

- Lift weights, run, walk, dance, jump, and carry things. Move Yourself!

See you all next week.

Chris Kendrick, CSCS

DiVerge Fitness?Move Yourself!