HealthWellness

Bones Brigade

Strengthen your bones in three easy steps

GET SOME SUN
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. So before you lather up with SPF 15 sunblock, get your quota of D by stepping into the sunlight for 20 minutes in a short-sleeved shirt and covered head—or by swallowing a serving of fish or D-fortified milk.

CUT BACK ON VICE
A position paper published in April 2004 by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases points to mounting evidence that smokers have decreased bone density compared to non-smokers and that fractures among smokers take longer to heal.

Heavy alcohol consumption in women before age 35 will actually prevent a person's bones from ever reaching their full strength, according to a paper published by H. Wayne Sampson, a professor of human anatomy and medical neurobiology and nutrition at Texas A&M University. If that person keeps drinking after age 35, the situation gets worse, as the body stops strengthening bone. Break a bone at that point, and there's a chance that the bone could never heal properly.

A study of 744 teenage girls in Northern Ireland with a higher-than-average intake of cola drinks found that they showed signs of deteriorating bone density. The researchers seem to believe that because the girls had replaced nutritional beverages such as milk, juice or water, with soda as their beverage of choice, they were suffering from a lower bone mass density.

FIND SOME GOOD VIBRATIONS
A 2000-2001 study conducted by a team of researchers from The State University of New York at Stony Brook’s Department of Biomedical Engineering exposed sheep to 20 minutes of low-magnitude, high-frequency vibrations every day for a year. They found that the nominally shaken animals showed, on average, a 26.7 percent increase in bone density.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Skeleton
More Health