Fitness Conquers Osteoporosis
Diet and exercise are key to avoiding the drop in bone mass that leads to osteoporosis. Fighting the onset of the disease means attention to routine, says British health expert Jane Clarke.
She recommends exercising three times a week, 20 minutes each time, and laying off the smoking. And, she says, "men and women should ensure that their diet is rich in calcium -- around 800 milligrams a day," or 1-1/2 pints of milk or 3-1/2 ounces of cheese.
Other important nutrients include vitamin D (found in oily fish as well as sunlight), vitamin K (mainly produced in a healthy digestive system) and magnesium (from whole grain cereal and nuts). Other necessities are zinc (in shellfish and liver) and boron (peas, cabbage, apples and grapes).
"Watch your weight," she says, because "too little body fat can make you more prone to osteoporosis, particularly in women." And cut down on the salt, because "there is evidence that a high intake can cause the body to excrete more calcium," further weakening the bones.