As we age, osteoporosis becomes more of a concern, and not just for women. One in four men will lose height or otherwise suffer from osteoporosis. Most people believe that osteoporosis is inevitable and that the only way to handle it is to take expensive medicines for the reminder of their lives. That is simply not true! There are things you can do to prevent or slow the onset of osteoporosis for those who do not have it, and for those who do, these can help to lessen your risk. Avoiding bone robbers in your everyday life is one of the things that you can do to lower the effects of osteoporosis in your life.
Bone robbers may sound like Victorian villains, but they're far more commonplace than that. Common, seemingly innocuous lifestyle choices can rob your bones of their mineral density and make your other efforts less effective. Here are a few bone robbers to avoid in your daily life to help you to prevent or reduce the effects of osteoporosis.
An Inactive Lifestyle
Without muscles pulling against our bones to strengthen them, our bodies do not want to put forth the effort to build strong bone matter. When we lead an active lifestyle, our muscles do not need to work as hard, which means our bones also do not need to work as hard and can deteriorate. Try to incorporate strength training into your daily routine, as it is of special benefit to the bones. Other exercises can also help, including even taking simple walks or going for a swim. Remember, even 30 minutes every other day is better than nothing at all.
In addition to being absolutely horrible for the rest of your body, cigarettes are bone robbers too. Smoking can double your chance of bone loss and fractures because it reduces the effectiveness of estrogen, a hormone without which our bone density decreases rapidly. If you still smoke, quit for both your bones and the rest of your body's sake.
Drinking Excess Alcohol
Chronic heavy drinking has been linked with an increase in bone loss risk and in the likelihood of fracture. Limit yourself to a maximum of two drinks a day, with one or none being obviously better.
Malnourishment, Being Underweight, and / or a History of Eating Disorder
When our bodies are starving, they will find nutrients wherever they can, including by robbing them from our bones. Even those who over-exercise to the point of having very little body fat are at risk of their bones losing mineral density due to their bodies requiring more minerals to function at the levels demanded of it.
Drinking Soft Drinks
Cola-flavored drinks in particular may contain extra phosphorus that may bind with calcium to make it more difficult to absorb than it would otherwise be. Scientists are uncertain if this is exactly the cause, but they have found a correlation between soft drink consumption and lower bone density.