Health Sachet No 316:

Six ways to strengthen your bones:

Some salient points:
Peak bone mass period is around age 25. So build up bone bank before that. After that age, we begin losing bone mass faster than we build it.

• 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will have fracture over their lifetime due to osteoporosis.

• In first 5 years after menopause, women lose 20% of their bone mass.

• According to a 2011 study, women between ages 65 to 69, who broke a hip are 5 times more likely to die within the next year compared to their strong-hipped peers.

1) Consume dairy products. Drink 2-3 glasses of milk a day or equivalent.

2) Get sunlight or Vitamin D supplements. Calcium alone cannot fight osteoporosis. Vitamin D is equally vital.

3) Do strength training, such as lifting weights. Walking is less effective than weight training. Best exercises load bones with forces greater than normally encountered in life.

Use Minimal Essential Strain, which is about 10% of force required to fracture the bone. Bone responds to that stress by becoming thicker and stronger. Use full body weight bearing exercises that load spine and hips, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts and shoulder presses.

4) Prepare for genetics and family history. Asians have lower bone density.  Family history has a large independent role in 20% of osteoporosis cases.

5) Eliminate bad habits. Salt, alcohol, caffeine, soft drinks and cigarettes interfere with body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients needed to make bones.

6) Check your medications. Steroids, and medicines for acidity or depression impede bone resorption and formation.