Here are ways to reduce the risk of excessive bone loss and osteoporosis:
- Do weight-bearing and strength-training exercise. It’s never too late to start exercising, but if you are frail, very sedentary, or have a serious medical condition, get your doctor’s clearance first.
- Reduce the risk of falls by improving your balance. Regular exercise, including tai chi, can preserve proprioception—a sense of your body’s position in space.
- Eat a bone-healthy diet. To make up for shortfalls of calcium or vitamin D in your diet, take a supplement.
- Don’t smoke.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That may actually slow bone loss, while heavy drinking increases it.
- Maintain a healthy weight. It’s well known that being underweight increases the risk of osteoporosis. While most research has linked being overweight or obese to better skeletal health because of the greater demands put on bones simply from having to maneuver a larger body, some studies have linked excessive body fat, especially visceral fat (deposited around organs in the abdomen), to worse bone density.
- Ask your doctor if any of your medications could be taking a toll on your bones.
Published August 15, 2017