Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bone tissues break down faster than they are replaced. When this happens, the bones become weak, brittle, and susceptible to fracture. Over 54 million Americans have osteoporosis, and it results in about two million broken bones and $19 billion dollars in related expenses each year. Since the signs of osteoporosis are often not seen until it is too late, you may want to be aware of habits that could be increasing your chances of developing this condition.
8. Drinking Soda
The morning kick or afternoon pick-me-up of cola might seem like a refreshing way to get through your day. However, could the soda habit be leaching calcium from your bones? It has been suggested that the phosphoric acid or phosphate used in the manufacture of sodas could be doing just that. Caffeine is also suspected of contributing to bone loss. The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that the levels of phosphorous in your favorite soda probably will not harm your bones. Nonetheless, if you are drinking sodas rather than consuming calcium-rich beverages like milk, you could be depriving your body of the calcium it needs for strong and healthy bones.
7. Being a Couch Potato
You may think that resting your weary bones on the couch is doing them a favor, but the opposite is true. Just like your muscles, bones require exercise to stay healthy. The living tissues that make up your bones respond to the forces exercise places on them by growing and becoming sturdier. Continued bone growth is important in preventing the weak fragility of bones thinned by osteoporosis. Get off your couch and participate in weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, dancing, and jumping rope. Grab some friends and head out on a hike or play a game of tennis or racquetball.