Five Tips to Protect Your Bones This Summer
PJ Hamel | July 10, 2013
Summer’s here – but unlike most of us looking forward to a week at the beach or in the mountains, osteoporosis never takes a vacation. Whether you’re dealing with osteoporosis yourself, or caring for an elderly relative or friend, here are some ways to help ensure that a broken bone doesn’t get in the way of your summertime fun.
Ditch the diet soda
Choose another cold beverage instead. Here’s why: Drinking any diet soft drink probably means you’re replacing a healthier drink with a nutritionally empty one. The phosphoric acid present in most sodas (not just diet sodas) leads to excessive calcium excretion from the blood – which leads to bone loss. The caffeine in many soft drinks leaches calcium directly from your bones.
Keep things neat
For many of us, summertime means an increase in outdoor activities. Most of these activities involve “gear” of some kind: garden hoses, coolers, pool toys, and more. Keep regularly trafficked areas clear of clutter that could trip you up, leading to a nasty fall. And watch where you’re going: don’t let the fun of being outdoors distract you from commonsense caution.
There’s nothing like a cold beer after a hot day in the sun. But did you know alcohol affects your bones – in ways both good and bad? For younger men and women, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious bone loss later in life. But for seniors, alcohol enjoyed in moderation (beer for men; wine for women) can actually enhance bone health.
Summer is vacation time – which means more activity than usual, and perhaps trips to unfamiliar places. Approach new environments with care. Taking the time to explore your temporary habitat right up front, noting any potential trouble spots, could save you a trip to the hospital later on.
Warmer weather means it’s time for tennis, golf, swimming, and a whole range of sports harder to pursue when the snow flies. Use the long days of summer to increase your physical activity. While weight-bearing exercises are best, every safe movement is good for your bones.