You can do a lot to slow bone loss and prevent broken bones.
Get enough calcium and vitamin D
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is one of the first steps toward preventing or reducing the effects of osteoporosis. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is found in many foods, including dairy products such as milk and yogurt.
- Healthy Eating: Taking Calcium and Vitamin D
If you think you may not be getting enough calcium in your diet, check with your doctor about taking calcium supplements.
Experts recommend that you choose supplements that are known brand names with proven reliability. Most brand-name calcium products are absorbed easily by the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against companies that praise the benefits of coral calcium as a superior source of calcium and a cure for disease. There is no scientific proof to support these claims.
Weight-bearing exercises (walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or weight lifting), aerobics, and resistance exercises (using weights or elastic bands to help improve muscle strength) are all effective in increasing bone density and strength. These kinds of exercise may also help reduce the risk of falling or of breaking a bone. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
Limit alcohol use
Heavy alcohol use can decrease bone formation. It also increases the risk of falling. Heavy alcohol use is more than 2 drinks a day for men and more than 1 drink a day for women.
Smoking reduces your bone density and speeds up the rate of bone loss. For information on how to stop, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
Learn ways to prevent falls that might result in broken bones. Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Wear slippers or shoes that have nonskid soles. Exercises that improve balance and coordination, such as tai chi, can also reduce your risk of falling. You can also make changes in your home to prevent falls.
- Aging Well: Making Your Home Fall-Proof