5 Tips for Building Stronger Bones
May 16, 2014
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At least 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Association. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, making them thinner and more fragile. Although the disease affects more women than men, at least 2 million men in this country suffer from osteoporosis. Worldwide, the disease affects one in three women over the age of 50, and one in five men. Despite multiple risk factors, you can take steps to lower your risk and maintain healthy bones as you grow older.
1. Consume enough calcium in your daily diet. The recommended daily requirement for adult men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 is 1,000mg a day. After age 50, increase calcium intake to 1,200mg per day. Food sources rich in calcium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains and almond milk.
2. Develop healthy lifestyle habits. Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products can weaken your bones. Drinking too much alcohol can do the same. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks each day.
3. Lift weights. Aim for completing fewer repetitions lifting heavier weights; this provides more effective resistance. You do not need to use equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells or weight machines. Sit-ups and push-ups are weight-resistance exercises.
4. Incorporate weight-bearing exercises into your workout routine. Walking is a practical, low-impact, weight-bearing exercise that can help you maintain strong bones. You lose bone mass when you decrease your physical activity, so keep moving for stronger bones.
5. Take calcium and Vitamin D supplements if you do not get enough of these essential nutrients from food. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, however, aging can cause Vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor can recommend the right nutritional supplements for your needs.
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