Know Thyself – Skeletal system.
Azima wellness foundational talk 9/2019
Know Thyself – Skeletal system.
In our continuing series on Know Thyself, we are focusing on understanding the human body so that we learn how to take good care of “The Temple”. This is a duty God gave us. It is why God chose us to be his partners. Our role is to support the body to function at its optimum.
We will start with the body frame or the physical structure.
Our body is complex. It has 206 different bones. They are facilitated to move by 230 joints and supported by over 650 skeletal muscles. All these are held together and protected by 18sq ft. of skin. The skeletal system is what gives our body structure. We were made to stay upright. We spend most of our time either standing or seated in upright position. We should only lie flat when sleeping.
The most critical part of the skeletal system is the spinal cord. It has 33 joints. It is the link between the brain and the nerves to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is the most important structure between the body and the brain. It is the main pathway for information connecting the brain and peripheral nervous system.
The central nervous system controls most functions of the body and mind. The vertebrae bones protect the spinal cord and nerves. It is our work to protect and take good care of this highly sensitive part of the body on the outer level and keep it safe from harm.
Skeletal bones protect the inner softer organs in the body. Example; the human brain which is our control center is the most protected organ. The skull has the strongest bones. It weighs 4.5 – 5kgs to keep the brain well protected. The rib cage protects the other vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. The more sensitive an organ is the more protection it is accorded by God’s design.
The skeleton plays a much bigger role in our survival. Red blood cells and platelets plus around 70% of the lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow. If we do not take proper care of our bones, the quality of our life will deteriorate.
1. The common diseases of bones
Osteoporosis is a condition in which there is a loss of the mineral part of the bone and thinning and disintegration of the spongy part of the bone. Osteoporosis is more common in older females than in men and younger ladies because bone minerals are lost much faster (3-8 years after menopause).
A bone condition similar to osteoporosis caused by prolonged and severe vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is very important for absorption of calcium from the gut into the blood stream. Low vitamin D level in blood causes calcium deficiency for rebuilding the skeleton (this rebuilding happens throughout our life). This leads to poorly calcified bones, similar to osteoporosis.
How to preserve bones integrity.
You can take a few simple steps to prevent or to slow bone loss. Example:
Include plenty of calcium in your diet. For female adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. This recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70.
Good sources of calcium include almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your nutritionist to advice on the ideal supplements.
Pay attention to vitamin D sufficiency. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.
Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon, trout, whitefish and tuna. Additionally, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods are good sources of vitamin D. But the best source for vitamin D is Sunlight which aid the skin to produce vitamin D. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs or hiking build strong bones and slow bone loss.
Other enemies of bones density include cigarette smoking, alcohol, soda, sugary juices and too much sodium chloride. High levels of cortisol affect bone formation and increase bone breakdown. Chronic alcohol consumption increases parathyroid hormone which leaches calcium from the bones. Avoid or reduce acid forming triggers like foods, drinks and high levels of stress.
Bones provide sites for attachment of muscles and provide calcium needed for muscle contraction to support the movement of bones.
Cranium and vertebral column protect brain and spinal cord. Bones provide the calcium needed for neural functions. Sensory receptors provide sensations of body position and pain from bones and joints.
These among many more are the crucial functions of the bones and skeletal system. It is at the heart of our survival. Keep it here for more tidbits.
With profound respect,
Coach Maina Azimio.
ICF- Accredited Certified Professional Coach,
Conference Speaker and Corporate Trainer in Wellness.
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