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Today I learned that a lifesize human skeleton replica will cost you around 200 bucks (or, save a few bones with the 33 inch version by Anatomy Warehouse). Bones are expensive! Those grave robbers knew what they were doing.

While we're alive, bones and muscles work together. The bones support the muscles, and the muscles make the bones move. Without bones, we would just be a blob, stuck in one place. Even snakes have skeletons that let them bite & slither on the ground. Luckily, we have a lot of bones to help us do fun things & run from scary things. There are 206 bones in the adult human body, but we're born with more --270 -- so we can squeeze out of our mom's uterus. As we grow up, some bones fuse together to give us a stronger skeleton. 

Some important bones include the pelvis (hip bone), knee bones (patella & leg bones), skull and humorous. Your skull is especially important, because it protects your brain! Your spinal column supports the bones on the upper half of your body, as well as your pelvis (ribs, shoulder bones and skull); if it is injured or you don't eat enough calcium, your neck and shoulders may develop a permanent slouch.

Now sit up straight

BoneThugsIt's the kind of question that our mothers harass us with. When we voice our answer, doctors stare at us disapprovingly. This is also the reason we avoid dietitians, or outright lie to nurses and grandmothers. When you're old, you won't want to move much anyway, right? What am I talking about? Calcium! It's National Osteoporosis Day, so in the spirit I calculated yesterday's calcium intake: Almost Zero (you know, if you count a piece of cake or 2 miscellaneous eggs). As much as I'd like to ignore this and pretend I get plenty of calcium, I don't want to have a hunchback at 60 years old. My great aunt is 90 and still travels the world! Talk about inspiring. So how do you get more calcium? And not just in your diet - how do you make sure it gets into your bones and stays there, after you're old and prone to falling from natural declines in your sense of balance? I'll give you a hint: dairy doesn't make your bones any less frail. So what are good sources of calcium, then? Click the link, or read on: leafy greens (especially kale), nuts (almonds!), seeds, soy, and white beans. See Whole Food's list for more ideas. Exercise is also great for strengthening bones, but it needs to be weight-bearing, like these workout ideas (floating in the pool doesn't count). Try yoga, running, or dancing! Do you have any favorite workouts or calcium-rich recipes?