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Managing Diseases and Conditions

Promoting Lifelong Bone Health

Want to keep your bones strong and healthy throughout life? A good diet, exercise, and other healthy habits can go a long way toward protecting your bones.

If you thought dairy products were the answer to bone health, researchers have shown that they actually offer no protection against bone breaks in later life and do not even improve bone building in childhood. But there are important steps you can take for healthy bones, as we’ll soon see.

Throughout life, bones are taking up and releasing calcium and other minerals, a cycle that is influenced by a variety of factors.

These include:  
  • diet
  • exercise habits
  • hormones
  • genetics
  • certain diseases

The minerals in your skeleton are completely replaced about five times between childhood and your 55th birthday.1 The largest influence on this cycle is genetics, followed by hormones related to growth and puberty.2,3 But don’t let that lead you to believe that there is not much one can do to influence bone health; diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors can play a large role in bone health. Focusing on those actions that promote bone building and those that decrease bone breakdown will go a long way toward improving and maintaining bone health.

 

Next:
Promoting Lifelong Bone Health: Healthful Calcium Sources for Building Bones >>