5 Ways to Avoid Osteoporosis
- Exercise. Women should get 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity, three to four times each week. This activity should include a combination of resistance training and weight-bearing exercise.
- Eat a bone-healthy diet. Women should eat foods rich in dietary calcium and protein, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Getting enough vitamin D through sunlight or a supplement is also important.
- Kick bad habits. To protect bone health, stop smoking. Drinking heavily can also have a negative effect on bone health. Itís also important to avoid being too thin. Women who are underweight are at higher risk for osteoporosis than those who are a normal weight.
- Know your risk factors. Itís essential to get educated about osteoporosis and learn if you are at greater risk for developing the disease. Common risk factors for osteoporosis include going through menopause before age 45; use of medications known as glucocorticoids; or having rheumatoid arthritis or malabsorption disorders, such as celiac or Crohnís disease. Women who have broken bones in the past or have a family history of osteoporosis are also at greater risk for the disease.
- Check your bone health. Once women reach menopause, they should visit their doctor to have their bone health and risk for fracture assessed. Women who are diagnosed with bone loss should follow the treatment regimen prescribed by their doctor.
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