How to build bone mass?
Q: I am a 26 years old (5' 7", 65kgs) vegetarian with no addictions. I had suffered a severe jaundice attack when I was 10-11 years of age and was asked to consume 500gms of glucose every week combined with some strong vitamin C tablets for about 3 months. I used to be always sleepy during those days. Prior to my illness, I was a very healthy child with good bone mass. However, after jaundice my bones did not grow and now I have very thin bones. I have been exercising quite regularly due to which I increased my weight from 52-53 kgs to the present level. My stamina is also good as I constantly jog and do work outs. But some how my bones have not changed. I wanted to seek your help in getting my bones stronger and firmer, as I believe my old age will get affected if I do not have proper bone mass. Although my weight according to my height is ok, but these all are muscle fibers which I gained by workouts. If I stop my exercise routine for a 20-25 days, I lose weight and look very skinny. I would be very grateful to you if you could help me out. I am prepared to work out, eat prescribed food (request for vegetarian) or anything else which could help me in getting proper shape.
A:You are right by saying that exercise helps you in many ways and if you stop it for a while, you will find changes. To build bone mass, you need to do some weight bearing exercises, in the form of walking/jogging and weight training. You should ensure that your routine contains equal exercises for ALL parts of the body. By equal, I mean, what you do for the back of the body, should be done for the front, what is done for the top, should be done for the lower half. This will ensure there is no IMBALANCE in your body and at the same time, may help in building your bones stronger. Even though you find that muscle fibres are growing, there is no doubt that your bone mass also increases, if you do the right kind of exercise and do it in the correct manner. You might also like to see an orthopaedic specialist.