After the age of about 30,
bone thinning is a natural process and cannot be
stopped completely. Whether you develop
osteoporosis depends not only on the thickness of your
bones early in life but also on your health, diet, and physical activity later
in life. The thicker your bones, the less likely the bones are to become thin
enough to break. Young women in particular need to be aware of their risk for
osteoporosis and take steps early to slow its progress and prevent
A lot of physical activity during the preteen and teen years
increases bone mass and greatly reduces the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood.
If you eat a diet adequate in
vitamin D and exercise regularly early in life and
then continue with these healthy habits, you may be able to delay or avoid
Eat a nutritious diet that includes adequate
amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Both are needed for building healthy,
strong bones. Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption in bones and to improve
muscle strength. Getting more vitamin D may help prevent falls in older people who are low in vitamin D.6 And some studies show that taking vitamin D may reduce the chances of breaking a bone.7 Talk to your doctor about measuring your vitamin D to be sure you are getting enough. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to
sunlight. Vitamin D is also added to milk, some calcium supplements, and many
Get regular exercise. Weight-bearing
exercises, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or weight
lifting, keep bones healthy by working the muscles and bones against
Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day if you are a
man or more than 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman. Drinking more than this puts
you at higher risk for osteoporosis. See pictures of standard alcoholic drinks.
Don't smoke. Smoking puts you
at a higher risk for osteoporosis and increases the rate of bone
thinning after it starts.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this