Healthy Habits to Prevent or Reduce Problems From Osteoporosis
You can slow the onset of osteoporosis or reduce its impact if you develop habits that build and strengthen your bones.
It is best if you start healthy habits early in life, but it's never too late. Habits that build and strengthen bones include:
- Eating a nutritious diet that includes adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Both are necessary for building healthy, strong bones. Take supplements if you think you are not getting enough of these nutrients in your diet. The recommended daily calcium intake for adults is 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg a day. Postmenopausal women need 1,200 mg of calcium a day. Recommendations for vitamin D vary, but the National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that adults up to age 50 get 400 IU to 800 IU a day. If you are age 50 or older, the recommended amount of vitamin D is 800 IU to 1,000 IU a day. Calcium and vitamin D often are packaged together.
- Getting regular exercise. Weight-bearing exercises—such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting weights—keep bones healthy by working the muscles and bones against gravity.
To maintain healthy bones as an adult:
- Don't drink more than 1 alcoholic drink a day. Drinking more than this puts you at higher risk for osteoporosis.
- Don't smoke. Smoking puts you at a much higher risk for developing osteoporosis. Smokers lose bone density faster than people who do not smoke.
|Author||Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH|
|Editor||Kathleen M. Ariss, MS|
|Associate Editor||Pat Truman, MATC|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Updated||November 21, 2008|