By Henry | October 04, 2010 at 11:22 AM EDT | 2 comments
A Decade-by-Decade Guide to Protecting Your Bones
Take a stand: what you should (and shouldn’t) do to avoid breaks, fractures, and bone loss throughout your lifetime.by Stacey Colino
Timeless AdviceThroughout your life, be sure to:
- Stick with a bone-friendly diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Women should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 800 I.U. (international units) of vitamin D a day. After menopause, they should consume more.
- Keep moving. Exercise may have a greater effect on bone strength than calcium consumption, according to recent research. The more impact, the better: Running, lifting weights, and jumping rope are all excellent bone builders.
- Quit smoking. Compared with nonsmokers, women who smoke have lower estrogen levels and typically reach menopause earlier, both of which lead to lower bone density.
- Watch the salt. A high-sodium diet (more than 2,400 milligrams a day) is associated with excess calcium excretion.
- Be careful with alcohol. Moderate drinking (one alcoholic beverage a day for women) may be good for the bones because it increases estrogen levels; larger amounts could be harmful.