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How can I Maintain Strong Bones?

Article Details
  • Written By: Thomma Grindstaff
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To maintain strong bones, you must eat a diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D. You must also get plenty of exercise and include weight-bearing and resistance components in your workout. If you smoke, you should stop. For optimum bone health, drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. On your next checkup, ask your doctor about taking a bone mineral density (BMD) test to assess your risk for osteoporosis, a disease in which bone density is gradually lost.

You must get plenty of calcium, which is necessary to build bone density. Vitamin D is also crucial for strong bones since it assists the body in absorbing calcium. Good calcium-rich foods include dairy products, greens such as kale or mustard greens, and fish. Foods rich in vitamin D include fish, eggs, and mushrooms. If you aren't getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet, talk to your doctor about choosing good calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Resistance exercise and weight-bearing exercise will help you maintain bone health. When you do resistance exercise, you're building muscle mass, thereby helping to strengthen your bones. A good example of resistance exercise is weight-lifting. Weight-bearing exercise is when you move your body to fight against gravity. Walking, jogging, and dancing are good examples of weight-bearing exercises.

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Smoking is harmful to your bones because it lessens your body's capacity to absorb calcium. If you want to maintain strong bones, then quit smoking as soon as possible and, if necessary, enlist the aid of your doctor to do so. Drinking alcohol to excess compromises nutrition, and along with poor nutrition comes lessened calcium intake. To maintain strong bones, one should avoid consuming too much alcohol.

If you are under age 35, do as much as you can to build strong bones. After age 35, bone loss starts to occur; that is, you lose bone faster than you can build it. The key is to build enough new bone by getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise to mitigate the process of bone loss. If you are over 50, you should be extra-conscientious about offsetting bone loss through diet and exercise, and you might need to take medicine, such as alendronate sodium, to help protect your bones.

To maintain strong bones, knowledge is power. If osteoporosis runs in your family, talk to your doctor about taking a BMD test. The test is a painless and non-invasive procedure which will let you know your osteoporosis risk. The sooner you know that you are at risk for bone loss, the sooner you can take steps to work on counteracting it.

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