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How to Take Care of Your Bones

Body structure is defined by bones. Bones allow people to move, store calcium that nourishes our bodies and protect internal organs from injury. Degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis can threaten the health of the bones as people--especially women--age. Being proactive and taking care of your bones in your younger years can help prevent weakening and injuries in the later stages of life.

Step 1
Take care of your bones by getting enough calcium in your diet. Calcium increases bone mass, making them stronger. Dairy products, almonds, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, and tofu are all good sources of dietary calcium. Many ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are fortified with the nutrient, as well. Both children and adults need a healthy daily dose of calcium. Recommended daily allowances vary according to age, but range between 500 and 1,300 mg each day. Calcium supplements are an option if you are not getting the calcium you need from diet alone.

Step 2
Exercise on a daily basis to keep your bones healthy. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) states that both aerobic exercises such as jogging or playing sports, and strength training can prevent the loss of bone mass. The NOF recommends exercising for a half hour several days each week for optimum bone health. People who are already frail from low bone density may benefit from yoga or other low-impact movements.

Step 3
Stop smoking, or remain smoke-free if you are a non-smoker, to take care of your bones. A 2004 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that nicotine can be harmful to the bones and may also limit the amount of calcium that is absorbed into the body. People who smoke may have a higher-than-normal risk of fracturing bones.