Did you know there are 206 bones in the adult human body. Bones are an amazing organ and without them we simply couldn’t move or function.
Our bones play an incredibly important role in protecting our vital organs, such as the heart, lungs and brain and along with the help of muscles and joints give us skeletal structure and support to move our bodies each and every day.
What are bones made of?
Our bones are made up of connective tissue, reinforced with calcium and specialised bone cells which are constantly breaking down old bone tissue and creating new.
Healthy bones need plenty of dietary Calcium, Vitamin D, regular weight bearing exercise and normal levels of the body’s various hormones. When our bones are not as healthy and strong as they should be we are more susceptible to certain conditions such as Osteoporosis and Fractures.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition whereby a bones structure is compromised. As a result it becomes less dense and much weaker than normal and therefore is more at risk of breaking (bone fractures).
There are over 1 million Australians who suffer from Osteoporosis and in Australians aged 50 years and older 66% of those have Osteoporosis. Most patients don’t even realise they have Osteoporosis until they are diagnosed with a bone fracture.
What are some of the general risk factors of Osteoporosis?
- -Female gender
- -Low physical activity
- -Low muscle mass
- -Drinking alcohol
- -Low body weight
- -70+ years of age
- -Low protein/energy diet
- -Certain medication use
What can I do?
30 minutes each day of weight bearing exercise such as, hiking, running, brisk walking, tennis, dancing, swimming and cycling is excellent in reducing your risk of Osteoporosis and building healthy, strong supportive muscles.
Ensuring you eat plenty of calcium rich foods in your diet is also essential in preventing Osteoporosis and maintaining overall bone health. See table below for Australian dietary calcium recommendations.
So make sure you exercise regularly, stop smoking, limit alcohol, eat plenty of high protein calcium rich foods and ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamin D to care of those very important bones which take care of you!