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How to care for your bones throughout life

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DALLAS — Bones are the body's first lines of defense. They protect the brain, heart and lungs and anchor the muscles. They keep us mobile. And all they ask in return is our support to keep them strong: good nutrition, weight-bearing exercise, calcium and Vitamin D.

Bones' needs also vary with age. You accumulate an astonishing 90 percent of all your bone mass by the time you're 21, so it pays to bank that calcium in your early years. After that, it's all about maintenance — which is important if you don't want to be a senior citizen with broken hips or curved vertebrae, which can lead to hunched posture and difficulty breathing.

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