10 Things Orthopedists Do Every Day For Stronger Bones

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One out of every two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Despite that sobering fact, most don’t do much to safeguard their skeleton. Maybe you hate the taste of milk, think you don’t have time to exercise, or are convinced that a fracture won’t happen to you.

But orthopedists—doctors who treat injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including the bones and joints—aren’t so cavalier about bone health. We asked these experts to reveal their top bone-building habits, as well as how they manage to work them into their busy lives.

“I fill ⅓ of my coffee cup with skim milk—and treat myself to several cups. That way I make sure I get my calcium and protein in the morning, even though I’ve never liked [plain] milk.”
Alexandra (Alexe) Page, MD, orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, California

“I follow a strict rule of no more than two alcoholic beverages daily. When you drink too much, it interferes with your body’s absorption of calcium and thus increases your risk of developing osteoporosis.”
Laura Malfitano, DO, orthopedic surgeon at Brielle Orthopedics in Forked River, New Jersey

“I do CrossFit as a weight-bearing, core-stabilizing exercise three to five times a week. It’s imperative to do weight-bearing activities several times a week, as this type of workout helps maintain and improve bone health. The more stress you put on bone, the more it remodels itself.”
Claudette Lajam, MD, orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City

“I avoid carbonated and excessively caffeinated beverages, which have been linked to decreased bone density. One of the theories is that the caffeine in coffee and tea and the phosphoric acid in cola leaches calcium out of the bones.”
Cheryl Rubin, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Airmont, New York

“Even though I’m busy working indoors, I try to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes each day in the sun in order to promote vitamin D production. I try to avoid prolonged sitting by using a standing desk while I finish my charting or making phone calls. This allows increased weight bearing on my back and legs, which stimulates bone growth. I also take a multivitamin and calcium supplement daily.”
Jonathan Saluta, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles

“I lift weights twice a week no matter what. Even if I’m traveling and only have access to a rudimentary gym, I spend 10 to 20 minutes doing resistance exercise to build muscle and maintain bone health.”
Sabrina Strickland, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City

“I try to incorporate foods rich in vitamin D—such as fish like salmon, tilapia, and trout; mushrooms; and eggs—into my menu every day. I don’t like regular milk, so I drink fortified almond milk, which has just as much calcium and vitamin D.”
Alejandro Badia, MD, orthopedic surgeon and founder of OrthoNOW Orthopedic Urgent Care Center in Miami, Florida

“As a full-time surgeon and mother of three, I have to ferociously protect my early morning workouts. I use a Peloton indoor cycling bike 5 days a week for 45 minutes, and I make sure to incorporate some weight-bearing activity into the workout by being ‘out of the saddle.’ I also do hot yoga twice a week, which is weight bearing for my arms and legs.”
Jennifer Weiss, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles

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