Taking Care of Your Bones
What aging can bring: Osteoporosis, fractures.
What the research shows: In your 30s, your body stops storing calcium, so if you don’t get enough in your diet, your body will start depleting its stores. Another cause of brittle bones is lack of exercise. “Bone is live tissue, like muscle, and it needs to be stressed to grow,” says Carla Sottovia, Ph.D., assistant fitness director of the Cooper Aerobic Center, in Dallas. Anything that puts weight―stress―on the bones will help build bone mass, but “you want to stress them in as many different ways and directions as possible,” says Lyle.
What you can do: Lyle recommends activities that include a variety of movements, like racquetball and dancing. Women need between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium in their daily diet or as a supplement, along with 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D and 350 to 400 milligrams of magnesium.