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Quick tips for optimal bone health

Nov 9, 2011, 3:34 p.m.

After age thirty, we need to take extra precautions to keep our bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can occur in both men and women and is caused by a loss of calcium and other minerals, which makes bones brittle and allows them to fracture easily. But here's the good news: Just a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can minimize the risk of osteoporosis. Follow these five simple tips to improve your bone health:

Practice weight-bearing exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week. Jogging, running, walking, tennis, stair climbing, weight training and aerobics are all examples of weight-bearing exercise because they require your musculoskeletal system to work against gravity.

Increase your calcium intake. Choose low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese to add a little calcium boost to your daily diet. Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli are also a great source of calcium.

Add Vitamin D to your diet. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium into your system. Oily fish, such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, are all good sources of Vitamin D, as well as egg yolks and vitamin supplements.

Put out the cigarette. If you still smoke, quit. Besides causing cancer and heart disease, nicotine impairs the absorption of calcium in your body.

Limit your alcohol intake. Don't drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day, as alcohol has been proven to negatively affect bone density.

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