Statue With Broken ArmAs winter comes, everyone is going to naturally spend more time inside, and Vitamin D levels will drop.

Do you know what else drops during the winter? Bone density.

What most people don’t know (because the medical profession takes a very lazy approach to it) is that your bone density fluctuates all the time: time of year, age, nutrition, exercise, even where you live can cause it to increase or decrease.

What about bone density tests? (Unless things have changed in the last few years), it’s all about calibration. The standard for bone density is a 25 year old white woman—and the machines are usually calibrated by the manufacturer, once, and that’s it (no tune up after transport, or after years of use, etc., etc.).

The best way to accurately monitor your bone density (so you can catch if you’re at risk for osteoporosis) is to visit the same doctor/lab each year, and ask that your test results be compared against each other, rather than the “standard” (if you’re lucky, your doctor may have naturally calibrated themselves to the data they get over years of working with it and patients).

Going back to the list of what affects bone density, note that you have a lot of power over almost all of it. You can control your diet with a daily multivitamin that makes sure you get enough Vitamin D and Calcium, you can exercise more (out of the pool—you want gravity to strengthen your bones), you can get more sunshine to naturally increase your Vitamin D levels.

While you need more Vitamin D in the winter, there are many people who need more Vitamin D year round. People in the far north or south, who live somewhere with few sunny days, whose bodies don’t do well absorbing nutrients, and so on.

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