May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month, so let’s take a look at what that’s all about.
Anything “osteo” refers to bones. Our bones are carefully designed to be solid foundations, allowing our bodies to stand up and have some shape. The bones in our feet need to be especially strong and solid because they literally hold up our entire body. The “porosis” part of osteoporosis means “porous” – having many little spaces or pores. So osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.” Bones with little spaces running through them are weak and brittle and don’t do a good job of supporting our bodies. Because they’re thin and weak, they break easily.
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to maintain good bone density. Our bones remain strong through four major sources: diet, sunlight, exercise, and supplements.
4 ways to keep bones strong
- Watch your diet
When your mom or dad told you to drink your milk, saying “It’ll make strong bones,” they weren’t kidding. Fortified milk contains Vitamin D, one of two crucial nutrients for building and maintaining strong bones. Milk is also one of the best sources of calcium, the other nutrient that bones love. Get more Vitamin D by drinking milk and eating egg yolks, fatty fish and fish oils. Get more calcium by ingesting cheese, yogurt, and certain vegetables like kale and broccoli – along with your milk.
- Get outside
It’s pretty hard to get enough Vitamin D from foods, but good thing we have the sun. Exposing our bare skin to the sun’s rays is a way to help our bodies produce this essential nutrient.
Performing weight-bearing exercises is a great way to ward off the effects of osteoporosis. Lifting weights, walking, jogging, and playing tennis are great examples of weight-bearing exercises. Even housework or yard work such as weeding and lawn mowing keep bones moving and regenerating.
- Take a supplement
A good number of Americans are low in Vitamin D, so check with your doctor to see if you could benefit from taking vitamin supplements.
For more information about your bones, your feet, and how to keep them healthy, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. Our number in Montgomery is (334) 396-3668.