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How to Develop Strong Bones for Life
by Peter Bua
Osteoporosis may feel like an inescapable reality of the aging process. However, there are steps you and your family can take to achieve high bone density and avoid this condition. Follow these four and enjoy strong, healthy bones for life.
Adequate calcium intake throughout childhood and adolescenceParents pleading with their child to drink more milk may be something of a childcare stereotype. Yet there is something to it -- calcium is in fact absolutely essential to proper bone development. There is a window in every person's life during which they can contribute to bodily calcium reserves. How much or how little the calcium the individual ingests during this period will affect their bone density for life. The window closes at the end of adolescence; after this point, calcium intake serves only the maintenance, not the increase, of bone calcium reserves. If you have a child who does not consume enough calcium through food, order calcium supplements online to ensure that they develop strong, healthy bones.
Regular engagement in moderate to intense exerciseThe common phrase "use it or lose it" applies to bone strength as much as anything else. A strictly sedentary lifestyle can lead to a decrease in bone density over time, eventually even resulting in osteoporosis. By engaging in activities which challenge the stiffness and load-bearing capacity of as many bones as possible, individuals can not only maintain the present strength of their bones but actually gradually increase density. As an added bonus, exercise makes it easier to fall asleep, a factor which is extremely important given that an estimated 45% of Americans have difficulty doing so.
Exposure to sufficient sunlightAs many folks know, calcium cannot be properly absorbed without adequate vitamin D. Make sure to spend enough time outside to produce this important vitamin -- if you still find yourself with low vitamin D levels, you may need to order vitamin D supplements. By going out for a run, you can fulfill your exercise and sunlight needs at the same time!
Proper calcium maintenance through adulthood and beyondAccording to a Harvard report, the National Academy of sciences recommends ingesting these quantities of calcium for each of three groups:
- Individuals ages 19-50: Consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day
- Individuals age 50 or older: Consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day
- Women who are pregnant or lactating: Consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day