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Keep Osteoporosis Away With Diet and Exercise

According to a recently released report, regular exercise is just as important as a calcium-rich diet for avoiding the crippling bone disease osteoporosis.

Move It or Lose It

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), in its new report, "Move it or Lose it," notes that bone is a living tissuethat renews itself continuously, and requires regular stimulation from physical activity to prevent deterioration.

Peak Bone Mass

People develop a peak bone mass when they hit adulthood, but it eventually begins to decline. It was at one time thought that maintaining the peak for as long as possible depended mostly on diet, but recent studies show that exercise is just as important.

Exercise Reduces Risk

Women who sit for more than nine hours a day, for example, are 50 percent more likely to suffer a hip fracture as those who sit less than six hours a day.

In addition, young girls who are the most physically active can gain some 40 percent more bone mass than their more sedentary counterparts. And, a 2001 report found the bone mass girls accumulate from ages 11-13 equals the same amount they lose during the three decades that pass after they reach menopause.

Weight-bearing and high-impact exercises are ideal for stimulating bone formation. Osteoporosis strikes one in three women over 50 worldwide, and one in five men.

International Osteoporosis Foundation October 20, 2005Yahoo News October 20, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comment:This is a serious topic folks, as osteoporosis affects one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 largely because many are clueless about what they can do to prevent this problem.

Interestingly, less than 2 percentof the readers of this site are under 20, so it is likely that the majority of your boneaccumulation is finished and your primary goal is to maintain your bone density. Most people have little appreciation how powerful exercise can be in preserving bone density.

Just as exercise and diet work in tandem to beat obesity, the same can be said for osteoporosis. Strengthening bone mass, especially during puberty, can build a good foundation that can last a lifetime. In fact, there is a stronger connection between exercise and improved bone density among teens than taking calcium.

Jump-starting an exercise program can be frustrating, however, if you don't know where to begin. Thankfully, I have plenty of free tools on my Web site to help you get started. My beginners' exercise page includes links to other pages and a free table you can download to keep track of your progress.

Diet is, of course, also tremendously important for strong bones. One thing you can do if you have low bone density, or are worried about it in the future, is to increase your consumption of vegetables based on your body's unique metabolic type. Remember, what may be healthy for others is not necessarily healthy for you and vice-versa, so eating according to your metabolic type is really an incredible way to determine what you are naturally designed to eat.

It is also important to remember another basic tool of sun exposure to maintain your bone health. I am not talking about casual few-minute exposure on your face and hands, butthe healthy dose you receive while wearing shorts and either no shirt or a sport bra for women.

This is the type of exposure most of us require to generate significant levels ofvitamin D from the sun. Obviously, with winter fastly approaching for most of us, this is not very practical, which is why using a healthy cod liver oilwill supply you with a healthy dose of vitamin D, and also omega-3 fats, which are the stealth dietary weapon in preserving your bone density.

About the author:

This article is reprinted from Mercola.com, the world's #1 most visited and trusted natural/alternative health website. For a limited time only, you can take the FREE "Metabolic Type Test" to help you learn the right foods for your particular body type so you can achieve optimal fitness & health. Just go to http://www.mercola.com/forms/mt_test.htm right now to take this quick test!



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