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5 things you must do to keep your bones healthy

Last updated on: January 29, 2014 20:24 IST

5 things you must do to keep your bones healthy

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Dr Rajeev K Sharma

Our bones are both the basic structure of our body as well as its support base. They constitute dense connective mineralised tissue and perform various functions in the body.

Any injury to the bone takes time to heal and causes much discomfort. As we age, our bone density starts decreasing naturally as a result, our bones start getting more porous and weaker.

This is a natural process and every human body experiences it after 30. However, in people who live faulty lifestyles and do not take care of their calcium and vitamin D intake, this loss of mineral density can be very dangerous and can cause fractures very easily.

The natural loss of bone minerals apart, you can still maintain good bone health right till your sunset days if you follow a good regimen and build your bone bank for the not-so-hey days.

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Dr Rajeev K Sharma is a senior consultant orthopaedic & joint replacement surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.

Have a question for Dr Sharma? Join us for a chat between 1 pm and 2 pm today. Dr Sharma will answer all your queries related to building healthy bones. Click here to ask your question.


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Have your daily dose of calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and it performs some important functions like aiding muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, among others. However, 99 per cent of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth and supports the structure of these organs. Hence, the single most important thing needed for maintaining healthy bones is calcium.

It is recommended that an adult should have 1,000 mg of calcium intake daily to make sure the depletion in the bones is not severe. Milk, milk products like cheese, buttermilk and yoghurt; almonds, spinach, broccoli and beans are rich in calcium and should be included in our daily diet.


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Do not forget vitamin D, soak in the sun

You might be having adequate calcium in your diet, but often this calcium is not supplemented by Vitamin D, which is extremely important to enable the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is found in fish products but sunshine is the easiest source of vitamin D.

Forget the tension of tan, spend 10-15 minutes in the sun daily and get your quota. Minerals like potassium and vitamin K also have a role in maintaining bone health.


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5 things you must do to keep your bones healthy

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Dr Rajeev K Sharma

Exercise

Like most other organs, it is important to make sure bones remain active and very much in use to keep them strong and healthy. Exercise, which is very important for maintaining health in every sphere, is also crucial for the strength of bones.

Regular weight bearing exercises are very helpful, so are routine exercises like walking and running or indulging in sports.


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Cut on your drink

Though moderate alcohol consumption will not cause any harm, an excess of booze does hamper the functioning of vitamin D and hence can cause the loss of bone density. So, if you are a heavy drinker and like your drink every day, then better cut the daily intake; restrict it to one glass per day.


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Cut on your cigarettes

If you needed another reason to quit smoking, here it is. Smoking is another factor that speeds up bone loss. In any case, body loses bone naturally with age, why do you want to add unnecessary external factors to this natural process.

Have a question for Dr Sharma? Join us for a chat between 1 pm and 2 pm today. Dr Sharma will answer all your queries related to building healthy bones. Click here to ask your question.

Also read: Your brain, lungs, sex life: How smoking RUINS your health


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