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Healthy Habits to Prevent or Reduce Problems From Osteoporosis

Topic Overview

You can slow the onset of osteoporosis or reduce its impact if you form 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 needed for building healthy, strong bones.
  • 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 too much. Women who drink more than 1 alcoholic drink a day, or men who drink more than 2 a day, are at higher risk for osteoporosis. See pictures of standard alcoholic drinks.
  • 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.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last Revised November 6, 2012

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