Our bone health needs special care as bone density issues are silent killers, and can start from as early as 30 years of age
As the on-going COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are facing a huge healthcare crisis. Globally the pandemic has accelerated or rather decelerated the entire human population into the confines. Work from home, social distancing and discreet outdoor ventures has not only disrupted our emotional well-being but has also drastically affected our physical health. With reduced physical activity, there is rapid bone resorption (loss) as muscles and bones are not getting adequate stimulation. Also, the lack of exposure to the sun during the pandemic has critically affected vitamin D levels in our body. People are frequently feeling tired with lack of energy and strength. Everyone needs to be cautious about the health of their bones as much as their other needs. Bones support us and allow us to be mobile. Bone health is always a priority, and we always tend to overlook it. Bone density problem is a silent manifestation and could lead to a major medical issue over a period of time. While osteoporosis onsets with age among men and women, women face the brunt a little earlier, like from their 30s. Well-versed with the situation and to avoid unnecessary bones issues, let us now take a look at some measures that can take care of your bones during the pandemic.
Eat a diet rich in vitamin D, calcium
Must-haves for calcium are low-fat dairy products, green leafy veggies and dry fruits. Whereas, for vitamin D, have more fortified cereals, egg yolks, fish and milk. Both of these components are essential for good bone health. It works together in collaboration as calcium builds the bones, and Vitamin D helps in better absorption of calcium in the body.
Get exposure to sunlight to make enough vitamin D
Regular sun exposure is the most natural way to get enough vitamin D. The sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis. The role of Vitamin D in calcium homeostasis and metabolism is extremely strong. As per the pan-India study, the best time to be under the sun is between 11 am, and 1 pm.
Do not sit idle, without any physical activity
We do not just build muscles with exercising but also make the bones stronger. Best is to indulge in exercises like climbing stairs, walking, weight lifting, etc, and ensure to do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercising. Strength-building and weight-bearing exercise provides stimulation to bone cells and helps to increased bone mineral density, and bone size thus reduced the risk of osteoporosis.
Live a healthy lifestyle
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake contribute to bone loss and weakened bones. These unhealthy habits unknowingly reduce blood supply to the bones, slow down the production of bone-forming cells and impair the absorption of calcium. By avoiding these habits, you can lower your rate of bone loss and protect your bones from negative impacts.
Ayurveda and phytomedicines for bone health
There are several herbs and phytomedicines mentioned in Ayurveda for promoting bone health. Herbs like Hadjod, Salai guggul, Ashwagandha and Bala are clinically proven to reinstate bone cell homeostasis (osteoblast and osteoclast) and to improve bone mineral density. While herbs like Arjuna, Methi, Lakha serves as an organic source of bio-available calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, mucopolysaccharides, minerals and phytoestrogen, of which all are essential components for healthy bones.
The best approach to bone health is adopting a proper lifestyle and restoring the healthy balance of bone-forming cells (Osteoblast) and bone resorption cells (Osteoclast). As with ageing this balance shifts in a negative direction, favouring greater bone loss. Ayurvedic herbs augment bone mass formation and increase its natural healing abilities. Natural or phytomedicines are free from any kind side effects, can be continued for the long term and has sustained benefits for the holistic wellness of your bone health.
With inputs from Dr. Dipesh Mahendra Waghmare, Medical Advisor Executive to Millennium Herbal Care
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