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Know Your Bones And How To Take Care Of Them At 40

By the time you turn 40, you’ve attained peak bone mass, meaning you’ve built the maximum amount of bone you’ll have in your lifetime. Up to 90% of your total adult bone content is accumulated by age 20, but once you’re in your 40s, bone density slowly decreases due to changes in your bones’ remodeling process. “Bone is actually a dynamic tissue,” explains Andrea Singer, clinical director and trustee of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “Old bone is constantly being removed and replaced with new bone through remodeling.” Up until your 40s, the rate of breakdown (resorption) and formation are relatively balanced; now, bone loss exceeds the rate of formation. Menopause may cause rapid bone loss, an imbalance that can lead to osteoporosis. (Here are 19 tips to preserve bone strength and treat osteoporosis.)

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The good news is that while you can never regain peak bone mass, there are ways you can significantly slow the loss, Singer says. Get started today by following the tips below.

Bone-Saving Strategies

Identify your osteoporosis risk factors. 

bone health in your 40s
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Your odds of developing the condition are determined by a variety of factors, so it’s important to talk with your doctor about any issues you may have that could be accelerating your bone loss. Family history, along with the level of peak bone mass you built in your youth, play a major role in your risk of osteoporosis, but so do certain illnesses and medications. “Conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis can speed bone loss, as can medications such as corticosteroids,” says Wayne Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Race is also a factor: White women and women of Asian descent are at the greatest risk of osteoporosis.

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Focus on calcium and vitamin D.

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The two work in tandem to protect your bones: Calcium helps build them and slows the rate of loss, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. “Getting enough of both is essential to keeping your bones strong and healthy as you age, but unfortunately, too many Americans fall short,” Singer says. (Here are 10 dairy-free ways to get enough calcium.)

Women in their 40s should get 1,000 mg of calcium a day, ideally from foods such as yogurt, milk, fatty fish like salmon, and leafy green vegetables. “As long as you’re eating 3 to 4 of these foods each day, you’re probably getting enough calcium,” Johnson says. If you suspect you aren’t, talk with your doctor about taking a supplement.

MORE:5 Signs You're Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D, on the other hand, is difficult to get from diet alone since relatively few foods contain it (fish, eggs, and fortified products such as milk and cereal are good sources). You can get some or all of the 600 IU you need daily from sun exposure, but because so many factors can interfere with the process (increased sunscreen use, the season, etc.), it’s not a reliable source. If you’re concerned that your diet doesn’t include vitamin D–rich foods, or you don’t get outdoors often (or are covered in sunscreen when you do) ask your doctor whether you should have your vitamin D level tested to see if you would benefit from a supplement.

Choose bone-strengthening exercises.

bone health in your 40s
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Strength training using a set of weights or just your bodyweight and weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, and stair climbing are the best activities for protecting your bones, Johnson says. (You can even build stronger bones with pilates. Find out how.)Both put stress on your bones, which causes new bone tissue to form. The AAOS recommends doing 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise 4 or more days a week, along with at least two strength-training sessions, for optimal bone health.






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Date: 06.12.2018, 02:12 / Views: 82182