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The Importance of Bones

I have a monthly newsletter and write on nutrition, exercise, keeping ourselves healthy, strong and pass along tips and hints.

Purpose of our bones

Our bones support our body and help form our shape. Bones protect our insides, our skull bones wraps around our brain just like a helmet. Rib bones protect our hearts and lungs – those spaces in between the ribs allow our chest to get bigger and smaller as we breath. The kidneys are tucked under the ribs at the back and our liver is under the ribs on the right side while our spleen is under our ribs on the left side.


Our bones allow us to move, walk, run and jump. They are attached with muscles using tough tendons. When a muscle squeezes it pulls on the tendon and the tendon pulls the bone the way we want it to.


Big muscles pull big bones, like our arms and legs so we can lift and carry. The smaller bones help us with all those small movements like writing, standing in your bare feet, wiggling your toes and other small movements. We have more bones in our feet (26 each foot) than any other place. Our bones using muscles and tendons allow us to stand up straight, bend over and move from side to side or twist to the left or right.

Bone Marrow

Our bones hold bone marrow and is one place where we make red blood cells that carry oxygen. The white blood cells help fight germs and the platelets help stop bleeding if you happen to cut yourself or other accidents that cause bleeding.


They hold lots of calcium, which makes our bones hard. Calcium is also important for our heart and muscles and other cells. Bone marrow make sure that our calcium level in our bloodstream is kept steady.

Humans lose about 1-2% bone density every year after the age of 50 and as early as age 40. This means you can have frail bones without knowing.

Bones Change

Over our lifetime our bones change. They help us grow taller and keep us strong, as we age we lose bone density and our body looses height, strength and density and that is why we have to ensure that we keep our bones healthy and strong.


We do this by eating good healthy food and by different kinds of exercising.

Senior Cycling Marathon Kenny Joe Clark

Senior Cycling Marathon Kenny Joe Clark

Types of Exercising

  • We need all forms of exercising to keep our bones strong. I have included some of these different exercises but NOT ALL. There are others that are as good, do some research or see a physical therapist to see what is best for you. Always check first with your doctor to get you started on the right way to exercise.
  • Weight bearing exercises like aerobic, walking, dancing, low impact elliptical training machines, stair climbing, gardening, tennis, squash and paddle tennis.
  • Strength training and resistance like tugging and pushing, walking, running. Pushups, pull-ups, planks and leg squats. Use resistance tubes, barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines and Pilate’s.
  • Balance and brain health like yoga, Pilate’s, tai chi, and aerobics. Standing on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you. Putting your heel right in front of your toe and walking like on a tightrope.
  • We need all forms of exercising to keep our bones strong. I have included some of these different exercises but NOT ALL. There are others that are as good, do some research or see a physical therapist to see what is best for you. Always check first with your doctor to get you started on the right way to exercise.
  • Weight bearing exercises like aerobic, walking, dancing, low impact elliptical training machines, stair climbing, gardening, tennis, squash and paddle tennis.
  • Strength training and resistance like tugging and pushing, walking, running. Pushups, pull-ups, planks and leg squats. Use resistance tubes, barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines and Pilate’s.
  • Balance and brain health like yoga, Pilate’s, tai chi, and aerobics. Standing on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you. Putting your heel right in front of your toe and walking like on a tightrope.

Warnings for Weak Bones

If you have bone loss in your back (osteoporosis or osteopenia) DO NOT DO any of the following:
1. Bend forward from the waist.
2. Twist and bend at the torso to any extreme.
3. Carry packages that are too heavy. Not more than 5-10 pounds.
4. Bend forward when coughing and sneezing.
5. Reach for objects on a high shelf.
6. Do toe-touches, sit-ups or abdominal crunches.
Not sure of exercises you should be doing, see a physical therapist or trainer and have them set up an exercise program specially made for you. It’s worth your time and any expense you incur to keep your bones healthy. This helps you to stay in your home and remain independent.

Framework for our Bones

The framework is a protein called ‘collagen,’ with a mineral called calcium phosphate, which forms a soft framework.


This combination ‘collagen and calcium’ hardens and makes bones strong and flexible enough to withstand stress. Our bones stores calcium and releases it into the bloodstream as other parts of our body needs it.


Our bones internal structure is similar to a honeycomb, which makes them rigid – yet relatively light.

Exercise

Weight Bearing Exercise

Weight Bearing Exercise

Amazing Bone Facts

  • Pound for pound bones are 4 times stronger than concrete and consist of 31% water.
  • Speaking of strength, our bones are as strong as steel but 50 times lighter.
  • Our thighbone is so strong that it can withstand the axial load of about 1600-1800 kilos.
  • The tips of your fingers have enough strength to support the weight of your whole body.
  • There are 22 bones in the human skull.
  • The hardest bone in our body is the jawbone.
  • Our fingers stretch and bend about 25million times in a normal lifetime.
  • Bones make up about 14% of our weight.
  • The Hyoid bone in our throat is the only bone in our body that does not articulate with any other bone, but has muscular, ligamentous and cartilaginous attachments.
  • Our shoulder blade (scapula) is connected to our body by means of ‘15’ different muscles and is not attached to a single bone.
  • The leg bone is the fastest growing bone.
  • The length of your foot is the same as your forearm between your wrist and the inside of your elbow.
  • I bet you just checked this fact out.
  • The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

Food for Building Healthy Bones

Eat lots of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, parsley or green plants high in antioxidant.

Consume protein. 50% of bone is protein. Women need 60 grams daily and men need 86 grams.


Eat high calcium foods throughout the day, women need 1200 per day and absorbs Better if eaten at mealtime. Calcium is difficult for our body to consume.

Get enough magnesium, copper, selenium and zinc. These play a key role in achieving peak bone mass.

Low Vitamin D and K lowers bone density and bone loss. Eat fatty fish, liver and cheese, fermented foods, cheese, sauerkraut and soybean.

Supplement K2(improves bone density) which is MK-4 (stops and reverse bone loss) and MK-7 (blood clotting, bone metabolism and regulates blood calcium levels.

Avoid low calorie diets, these are not good for bone density, even is you do exercises you can still lose bone density.

Take a collagen supplement, a main protein found in bones. It contains amino acids glycine; proline and lysine, which help, build bone, muscle, ligaments and other tissues.

Maintain a stable, healthy weight. Low weight can cause bone loss and too much weight can impair bone quality and both have risk of fractures.

Consume foods high in omega-3 like: salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout. Taking omega-3 with a meal is good and enhances effectiveness.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Comments

Jeanne Hoback (author) from Rapid City, SD on March 14, 2021:

Thank you for your comment, appreciate feedback.

E Randall from United States on March 13, 2021:

Very good article, thank you for sharing.

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