Have you ever wondered what your skeleton is and what it does for you? The human skeleton can be a very confusing thing to understand. It supports the body, protects vital organs like the heart and lungs, and has some important jobs in helping with digestion. This article will teach you about all of these things and more!
The skeletal system is what gives our body structure. Without it, we would be a gross pile of goo on the floor. It’s made up of 206 bones that work together to support all other parts of your body.
The Skeletal System
The skeletal system is made up of the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton consists of 80 bones, which make up your skull, vertebrae column (which has 33 different parts), rib cage, pelvis, and sacrum. Your ribs move to help you breathe in air as well as protect your lungs.
It is normal for the bones to erode as we age. But for some people, the bones become so fragile that they break down under the body’s own weight. This causes hip, spine, and forearm fractures. This disease is known as osteoporosis. This disease is more common amongst women than men.
This is due to the fact that the women have lighter bones and after menopause, they experience rapid bone loss due to a decrease in estrogen. Also, women opt for heavy dieting in order to lose weight, where they skip highly nutritious food items. This results in weaker bones in the body. Men too can suffer from this disease if they smoke, drink or take steroids.
But there is no need to worry. It is possible for you to slow, stop or reverse this bone loss. Though women have used ERT or Estrogen Replacement Therapy to overcome this problem, you can follow the tips below to overcome or prevent this problem.
It is highly recommended that you do aerobic exercises for about 20 minutes a day at least three days a week. Exercise has been shown to stimulate bones to lay down new tissues. It is advisable to do the exercise that you can continue doing over long periods of time. Walking is the best form of exercise but you can also choose biking, swimming or aerobics.
If you have suffered from a fracture, walking in water is the best form of exercise. You can do this exercise three times a week for up to 30 minutes a day. The water will support body weight and ease the stress off the bones and joints.
Complement water walking by doing some muscle strengthening exercises like abdominal curls, shoulder blade squeezes, and back extensions. You can do these exercises on a chair or on the floor. Yoga is great for this kind of thing!
Drink Your Milk
Doctors recommend that you get about 1000 milligrams of calcium a day, even though you have not yet reached menopause. If you are not getting an ERT treatment, increase your calcium intake by another 200 to 500 milligrams a day.
This means that you can drink a quart of skim milk a day or have two cups of low-fat yogurt or four cups of low-fat cottage cheese to get 1000 milligrams. You can take the remaining requirements from supplements.
Spread out your calcium supplements throughout the day rather than take them all at one go. Food supplements should be taken with a meal. Doctors recommend you to take calcium carbonate which is relatively inexpensive and is easily absorbed when taken in divided dosages at mealtimes.
Variety of your Diet
at different types of food products: Bones do not contain calcium alone but contain an amalgam of boron, zinc, and copper along with other minerals. You can get these trace elements by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other unprocessed foods.
Smoking has been shown to accelerate bone loss. It accelerates the rate at which the body metabolizes estrogen and thus canceling the benefits of ERT. It has been shown to cause bone loss in men and postmenopausal women too.
That is only ONE of the many bad things smoking does to your body.
Avoid fizzy drinks
Cola and other carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which contains phosphorus which is a mineral, when taken in excess, causes your body to excrete calcium.
Pass on the salt
Excess intake of salt throws the calcium out of the body. Hence do not include salt more than necessary. Avoid processed and junk foods.
Salt and processed foods are rich in sodium. And they will cause the body to lose calcium, which is very bad for your bones since it can lead to osteoporosis.
So include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other unprocessed food items in your diet instead of salt or processed food if you want stronger bones!
Our Skeletal System Study Unit
I hope I have a fun way for you to learn a little more about your bones with the FREE printable skeletal system workbook you can download.
You can even build your own skeleton!