Forty-four million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis. Eighty percent are women. It’s never too early—or too late—to protect your bones. Bone is a complex
living tissue. It is constantly renewing
itself. Your job is to keep it from breaking
down faster than new bone can be formed.
Here’s what you can do to keep bones
strong at any age.
Teens through 20s
The most important years for building
good solid bones are from adolescence
to about age 30. With good habits, you
can increase your bone mass by as much
as 20 percent.
ɋ THE BEST HOUR YOU EVER SPENT The
strongest bones come from spending an
hour a day in weight-bearing exercises.
These include walking, running,
tennis, shooting hoops, or any
other exercise in which your
frame is stressed by your full
ɋ MAKE DAIRY YOUR FRIEND
You need a calcium-rich diet that includes
three servings of dairy
products a day (1,000
mg). You also need 600
International Units of vitamin D3 daily.
Vitamin D3 aids calcium absorption
more effectively than vitamin D2. A
good chewable multivitamin can fill
the bill. Check the label for the proper
amount of vitamin D3.
ɋ DIET CAREFULLY Dieting can rob bones
of the nutrients they need exactly at this
time of life. If you have to diet, make
sure you do it under the supervision of a
doctor or registered dietitian. There are
ways to structure a diet so your bone
health isn’t compromised.
ɋ LIMI T COLAS Colas—yes, the diet ones
too—contain phosphoric acids that may
rob bones of calcium. Drink soda only as
an occasional treat or not at all.
ɋ LOAD UP ON VEGGIES AND FRUIT “We
now understand that bone is not
just about calcium but many
nutrients,” says Katherine
Tucker, a University
“A diet rich in
low-fat dairy, and
whole grains is
the highest bone
Your guide to getting them and keeping them at any age
P Having family
P Being Hispanic,
white or Asian
P Being thin (under
P Being inactive
P Having gone
P Having celiac
disease, an allergy
to a wheat protein
that causes poor
vitamin D and
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