For decades, doctors have stressed the importance of bone health?to women, while osteoporosis wasn’t regarded as a problem for men. But?the International Osteoporosis Foundation reveals that one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture due to this bone-deteriorating condition. In fact, men are?27 percent more likely to break a bone because of osteoporosis than they?are to get prostate cancer. And according to the report, men are twice as likely as women to die following one of these fractures.
Recker suggests avoiding smoking and drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day—two things that cause bone deterioration.
“Modest drinking doesn’t seem to be a problem,” he explains. “And while we don’t know exactly why having more than two drinks a day affects bone mass, observational studies show that it does.”
Next, make sure to get enough calcium—a major component?of strong bones. Recker says you’re constantly losing calcium through sweat and urine, so you need to replace this mineral daily.
“I recommend getting 1,250mg a day,” he says. “Dairy is rich in calcium—an 8-ounce glass of skim milk has 300mg. The rest of your diet should be able to supply what you need.”
“We don’t normally get adequate vitamin D through diet,” Recker says. “And if you live in the northern part of the country, from the beginning of October through the end of March, you get absolutely zero vitamin D from the sun.”
So although eggs, milk, and fruit juices are often fortified with vitamin D, Recker suggests taking supplements to ensure you’re stocked up on the vitamin.
“I recommend everybody take 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day,” he says.
Finally, it’s important to exercise. By improving muscle strength, balance, and coordination, you’ll be less likely to break a bone. But for preserving bone mass specifically, Recker says weight-bearing exercises are best. These include jogging, hiking, playing sports like basketball or tennis, or any workout in which your body has to work against gravity to bear your body weight. But take note, swimmers and cyclists: Your sports don’t cut it.
Don’t give them up, just add weight-bearing workouts into the mix.
Related Video: The Rising tide of Osteoporosis (Provided by KTVI-TV St. Louis)
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