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Better Bone Health

By |2023-07-20T13:03:12-04:00July 12th, 2023|Categories: Health A-Z|Tags: , |

Summer’s warmth and light lure us to get up, out, and move. Because weight-bearing exercise can trigger bone growth, additional activity in the summer is just one of several reasons the season is a great time to improve your bone health, according to CentraState rheumatologist Sawsan Najmey, MD.

“People also tend to eat better in the summer,” says Dr. Najmey. “There’s a wider variety of fruit and calcium-rich leafy greens and vegetables available that support bone health.”

Soaring temperatures may even benefit your bones. Research in mice has suggested that temperatures above 93 degrees could cause gut bacteria changes that may boost bone growth, strength, and density. Another study found that living in warmer climates may correlate to fewer hip fractures.

This summer and throughout the year, Dr. Najmey suggests using the following tools to keep your bones healthy and strong.


Aim to get 1,300 mg of this supplement daily from foods such as cheese, yogurt, salmon, tofu, almonds, and leafy greens. If your diet doesn’t provide enough calcium, you can add a 500 mg supplement.

Sunshine & Vitamin D

Fifteen minutes of sunlight can provide a great boost of Vitamin D. But supplements and foods such as salmon, eggs, mushrooms, milk, and fortified juices can be more reliable sources of this crucial vitamin.

Gut Health

A healthy gut helps your body absorb the calcium and vitamin D your bones need. It also has been shown to play an important role in regulating bone mass. Fermented foods like yogurt and taking a daily probiotic are beneficial for maintaining your gut health, according to Dr. Najmey.


Try dancing, tai chi, yoga, lifting weights, or taking long walks to add more weight-bearing exercise to your daily routine. Even seated exercise such as chair yoga helps – just add light dumbbells.

Bone Density (DEXA) Scan

This noninvasive test measures bone density and assesses fracture risk. A bone density screening is recommended for women ages 65 and older and men ages 70 and older. Talk to your doctor about whether you may need a DEXA scan earlier, especially if you have risk factors for osteoporosis. Risk factors include a prior fracture, a family history of osteoporosis, early menopause (before age 45), low body mass, or being white or of Asian descent.

“View your bones as your future assets – like your savings toward retirement,” Dr. Najmey says. “The summer months are a great time to take steps toward a healthier you.”

A prescription is needed for a DEXA scan. Need a physician? Visit or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

To schedule a DEXA scan at CentraState call 732-294-2778.

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