The National Osteoporosis Foundation offers these tips to help prevent, or slow, osteoporosis:
Reduce your risk factors.
Quitting smoking is particularly important.
Perform weight-bearing exercises
Walking, dancing, lifting weights. While swimming and cycling are great cardiovascular exercise, they're not weight-bearing.
Get 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium daily (adults)
Food is the best source, but you might need calcium-fortified foods and/or calcium supplements. If you do take supplements, spread them out. Calcium is absorbed best when taken 500 mg or less at a time.
Get 800-1,200 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily.
Vitamin D is manufactured in the skin following direct sun exposure, so exposing the hands, arms and face to the sun 10-15 minutes three times a week (depending on your skin sensitivity) is enough to meet the body's vitamin D needs.
If you can't spend time in the sun, take supplements or get vitamin D through your diet (major sources include vitamin D-fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish and liver).
If you're over 65, menopausal or have any of the osteoporosis risk factors
, get screened.
Hospital dietitians, exercise physiologists and other specialists can work with Bone Health & Osteoporosis patients to help them make these important lifestyle changes.