A human being is a creature of habit and the kind of life a human leads is greatly determined by daily life habits. What we do, when we do, why we do, how we do and where we do something has a direct influence on the quality of our life. Physical and mental well-being is achieved by having healthy habits. In your daily life, whatever helps you bring mental clarity and anything that keeps you physically energized and capable, can be categorized as a healthy habit.
Healthy habits may include meditation and being kind and considerate but here we will be talking about some habits that can lead to a physically challenged life. We all have been told to eat healthily, sleep early, and do exercise. These are some healthy habits that have a direct positive impact on our life. If we are diligent in our practice of smart eating (nutritious and moderate food intake), exercising regularly and sleeping for a good seven hours during the night hours, then our bodies will perform optimally and we will have lesser health concerns. Alternatively, if we don’t adopt a healthy lifestyle, then we can have a range of health problems. Here, we are going to talk about one major health problem, borne predominantly out of lifestyle choices that have been escalating rapidly worldwide and is expected to affect more individuals in the coming years. The weakening of bones or osteoporosis is exacerbated by certain habits that are a part of our regular, normal life.
It is not only the elderly who have been complaining of weak bones but more and more young people are also getting diagnosed with this disease. Osteoporosis or weakening of bones is more common in women than in men. Although individuals of both genders should be careful in their lifestyle choices, women should be especially more careful when it comes to some habits. Following are seven habits that contribute to the weakening of bones.
1. Lack of Exercise
As mentioned earlier, regular exercise is a healthy habit. It can be something as simple as walking or jogging. In other words, aerobics or strength training can do the job for a healthy living. Regular exercise causes the formation of new bone tissue, increases bone density and improves overall bone health. Weight-bearing exercises cause the most dramatic increase in bone density. This happens because the bones can sense the small changes in bodily movement and in order to prevent breakage of bones, bones get bigger and denser near the joints and the bone shafts increase in thickness with little change in bone density. Lack of exercise along with other unhealthy lifestyle habits increases the possibility of weakening of bones. It is, therefore, essential to indulge in some regular physical activity if you want to have healthy bones even in your old age.
2. Alcohol intake
Bone health is severely affected by the consumption of alcohol. It is a well-known fact that calcium is essential for bone health. Regular consumption of alcohol causes calcium imbalance, which in turn causes weakening of the bones. This imbalance in some part is caused by alcohol interfering with the production of Vitamin D. Calcium absorption in the body is facilitated by Vitamin D.
Calcium imbalance is not the only aftereffect of alcoholism. It also interferes with hormone production. Testosterone, a hormone produced in both males and females are involved in the production of osteoclasts, cells that are involved in bone formation. Alcoholism reduces the testosterone levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates metabolism, reduces inflammation and helps control blood sugar level. Alcohol consumption increases cortisol levels. The elevated level of cortisol, however, can decrease bone formation and cause weakening and breaking of bones.
In order to protect your bones from fracture and breakage, the alcohol intake should be minimized or completely negated.
3. Protein in Diet
When it comes to consumption of any kind of food, moderation is the key. Both high protein and low protein diets contribute to the weakening of bones. A low protein diet interferes with the intestinal absorption of calcium and as a result, elevates the blood calcium levels. High level of calcium in the blood causes bone resorption and consequently weakening of bones. Alternatively, a diet high in protein and low in fruits, vegetables, nut, and seeds causes bone loss. It is, therefore, essential to maintain the right balance of protein in your diet to prevent the weakening of bones.
Smoking is one of the habits that are responsible for incurring most damage to the human body. In the case of bones, frequent smoking or being exposed to smoke (as a passive smoker) decreases the bone density and increases the risk of bone fractures. The adverse effect of smoking becomes apparent with age. The blood supply to bones is reduced as a result of smoking. Some of the other effects of smoking that interfere with important bodily functions include; calcium absorption from the diet is compromised, production of osteoblasts (bone forming cells) is slowed down, and enhanced estrogen breakdown causes a drop in the level of estrogen. Estrogen is essential in maintaining healthy bones.
If you wish to avoid stairlifts in your home, it is best to keep away from those cigarettes!
5. Weight loss regime
The dramatic loss of weight is directly associated with bone loss. Low caloric intake increases the risk of osteoporosis. When you are not supplying the body with essential nutrients, not only does it limit the production of hormones associated with bone health, the formation of new bone cells is also affected. Losing weight is not wrong but maintaining a healthy weight should rather be the goal when you are planning a weight loss regime. What you should target for is a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 18.5 and 25. Anything above and below this range will interfere with optimal health. Losing weight should always be in conjunction with exercise and intake of nutrient-rich foods. While on a weight loss regime, consideration of these two factors will prevent weakening of bones in the long run.
6. Staying Indoors
There is a strong correlation between bone health and a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle can be best described as either sitting on a couch binge watching movies and sports etc. or a desk job requiring you to stay indoors for a long period of time, mostly during sunlight hours. Sunlight is vital for the production of Vitamin D, which in turn is essential for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium, a mineral that is essential for bone formation and bone health. If the body is deficient in Vitamin D, even if you are having a calcium-rich diet, your bones will eventually get weak. Vitamin D is often referred to as sunlight vitamin, so if you are spending most of your time indoors, it is best to revise your routine and include some sunlight hours in your daily life if you do not want weak bones.
7. High Salt Diet
If your diet has a high salt content or if you are fond of eating salty snacks, then you need to cut back a little to maintain your bone health. High salt intake increases the loss of calcium, and it is not always the dietary calcium that will be excreted but also the calcium from the bones. Over a period of time, this calcium loss will lead to the weakening of bones. In addition, bones also get weak due to high blood pressure, a direct result of high salt intake. People with hypertension excrete high level of calcium than the rest. Keeping all this in view, it is best to limit your salt intake to RDA (Recommended Daily Intake).
The weakening of bones (Osteoporosis) is an irreversible process and has no treatment. Therefore, if you want to have a high-quality life in which walking, running, climbing stairs is easily possible, it is best to modify your lifestyle and avoid the habits that lead to weak bones.
About The Author:
Christine Rudolph is a passionate blogger. She is an enthusiastic writer, inclined towards ever-changing trends. For more updates follow her on Twitter @RudolphBlogger.