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Lifestyle Choices and Healthy Bones for Life

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Are you living your life with an eye for the future as well as the present?  Bone health in our later years can be an after thought in our robust early years.  But good health choices today can help to prevent bad bones as we age.

Lifestyle considerations for strong bones:

Smoking has a long list of bad health associations and that extends right through to damaging bone density.

Lack of vitamin D from complete avoidance of sunlight exposure (including excessive use of sunscreens), or from a poor diet or weak digestive tract will also contribute to poor bone health.

Weight bearing exercise stimulates bone remodelling and encourages the deposition of new, healthy bone tissue, while a sedentary life is associated with reduced bone mass.

Chronic stress will also negatively affect bone health.

Take action:

Quit smoking.  Acupuncture, herbal medicine, hypnotherapy, and other modalities can support you in your efforts in a concerted “Smoking Cessation protocol”…but the first step comes from you and the desire to quit. When you’re ready, let me know.

Get some sunscreen-free skin exposure during the day.  Between 5-15 minutes of sunlight depending on your skin tone, propensity to burn, time of day, and UV index should be sufficient but make sure you don’t burn!  We want vitamin D not pain and skin damage!

Take a vitamin D supplement in winter if necessary.  Here on the “wet coast” of Canada a little extra vitamin D is helpful.  The best food sources of natural vitamin D are liver (including cod liver oil and pâté) and kidneys. Because we tend not to consume much by way of organ meats in our society, dairy products are often fortified with vitamins D (and A).

Strengthen bones (and muscles) with push-ups, squats, yoga, free-weights, or adjustable weight machines.

And stress…here we are again!  Stress is inevitable and necessary for growth and development, but must be kept in check or else it can destroy us!  However you choose to manage stress, ensure that you don’t let it win and that it stays a force of growth and change, not debilitation and exhaustion!