A Bone To Pick: 5 Unhealthy Habits For Your Bones

Make no bones about it, but your bones are important. Imagine a body without them! It’d be floppy and flimsy, to say the least. Bones protect organs like the heart, brain, and lungs. They also allow you to walk around and reach for objects. Without healthy bones, everyday activities will be a little tricky. So what are you doing to take care of them?

Daily habits matter more than you think. If you’re not careful, the risk for bone problems will increase. A major example is osteoporosis, a debilitating disease that affects 10 percent of the world’s population. Women have a greater risk especially during menopause. In fact, 30 percent of menopausal women suffer from osteoporosis.1

But like most diseases, bone problems don’t happen overnight. They develop silently over time. Plus, at age 30, bone growth stops and then begins to deteriorate.2

That’s where

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you come in. By avoiding certain habits, it’s possible to slow down that deterioration. Here’s what you should stop doing for healthy, happy bones.

1. Drinking Soda

Phosphorus and caffeine in soda is harmful to bones

Soda isn’t just bad for your waistline. It’s high in phosphorus, a mineral that decreases blood levels of calcium. Phosphorus also induces the secretion of bone growth cells, which then decreases vitamin D, an essential nutrient for bone health.

Caffeine also interferes with calcium absorption and excretion. Additionally, all that sugar disrupts mineral balance. It explains why soda is linked to hip fractures in postmenopausal women.3 Time to ditch the fizzy drinks, folks.

2. Drinking Too Much Coffee

caffeine in coffee
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In moderation, coffee isn’t the worst drink out there. This antioxidant-rich beverage increases focus, motivation and attention. It can even burn calories and break down fat cells!4 High doses of caffeine, however, can be detrimental to your bones.

Again, caffeine hinders calcium absorption. The effect is even worse for older women, so keep this in mind as you age.5

3. Sitting Around All Day

 inactivity weakens bone

An inactive lifestyle will only harm your bones. This is especially important if you work at a computer, as most do these days. And while exercise during adolescence has the biggest impact,

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it’s never too late to break a sweat.6

During the later decades of life, physical activity can slow down bone loss. It’s also associated with a lower risk of fractures.7 For best results, focus on weight bearing exercises like brisk walking and strength training with weights.8

4. Smoking Cigarettes

Bone density reduces with regular smoking

Smoking doesn’t just harm your heart, lungs, and throat. It also damages the bones, according to the International Journal of Epidemiology. Studies have proven that it reduces bone density, a process that already happens with old age. Together,

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it’s a recipe for trouble.

The effects are even worse in women. After quitting smoking, the risk of bone fractures lingers in women. Men, on the other hand, see a drop in risk after 5 years.9

5. Wearing High Heels

 Body's alignment is disrupted because of high heels

Beyond the risk for trips and slips, high heels are your bones’ worst enemy. They disrupt the body’s natural form because joints and muscles can’t properly align. The feet, ankles, and legs have no choice but to absorb a lot of shock.

Over time, bones weaken from the repeated load. The risk for joint degeneration, knee osteoarthritis, and overall weak bones will skyrocket!10 The lower body will also be under a lot of pain, making it uncomfortable to exercise and walk around.

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