Simple Steps to Keep Your Bones Strong

  • senior-woman-sitting-outside
    Be Aware of Your Bones
    If you are a woman, osteoporosis is something that should be on your radar. Of the 44 million Americans who are at risk, 68% are women. Don't sit back and wait for it to happen to you—use the following tips to lower your risk!

  • Not Everyone With Psoriasis Gets Arthritis
    Know Your Risk
    For starters, it's important to calculate your risk factors. Do you answer "yes" to any of the following?

    • Do you have a small frame or are you thin?

    • Do you have a family history of osteoporosis?

    • Are you Caucasian or Asian?

    • Are you a woman?

    Answering "yes" to any of these means that you are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Fortunately, it also means you know you should take action now to defend against this porous bone disease by building strong bones.

  • Man drinking milk
    Get Enough Calcium
    Drink low-fat milk and eat your leafy greens. Both are chock-full of calcium, which is vital to bone strength. Numerous studies suggest that inadequate calcium intake—which is anything less than 1,000 mg for adults ages 19 to 50 and 1,200 mg for women ages 50 and older and all adults 71 and older—is associated with low bone mass, rapid bone loss, and high fracture rates.

  • glass of orange juice on wooden table
    Reach for 1,000 to 1,200 mg/Day
    Sneak more calcium into your diet. Drink calcium-fortified orange juice, snack on almonds, or sprinkle low-fat grated cheese on a spinach salad. All are good ways to reach that 1,000 mg goal for adults up to age 50 and 1,200 mg for women ages 50 and older and all adults 71 and older.

  • Man drinking milk
    Start Every Day with "D"
    If calcium is your body's quarterback for strong bones, vitamin D is its wide receiver. They are a powerful combination! Without enough vitamin D, your body can't absorb calcium from the foods you eat. That means your body will rob the calcium from your bones so it can perform other functions, such as helping your heart, muscles, and nerves function properly.

  • Woman sunbathing on lounge chair at poolside
    Step Outside
    It's easy to get your daily vitamin D naturally—just spend 15 minutes a day out in the sunshine. You may want to take a supplement if you live in a cloudier climate or spend a lot of time indoors.

  • a couple walking down a path
    Stay Active
    There is no getting around it—regular exercise is a key to being healthy. Your bones, just like your muscles, respond to exercise by becoming stronger. Weight-bearing exercises that fight gravity are best. So go for a walk on your lunch break, use stairs instead of the elevator, or take up that dance class you've always wanted to try. Your bones will thank you.

  • Quit Smoking
    Quit Smoking
    Smoking can hurt your bones by increasing your risk for osteoporosis. Plus, smoking may interfere with your calcium absorption. So give your bones a boost by quitting smoking, or avoiding ever starting.

  • Limit Alcohol
    Limit Alcohol
    It's a good idea to watch your alcohol intake. Heavy drinkers are more prone to bone loss and fracture.

  • grandmother-with-grandchild
    Prevention Is Possible
    Although there are treatments of osteoporosis, there isn't a cure—but it's also a disease that's largely preventable. Give your bones the best chance and take measures to protect them today.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Bones Strong
  1. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Calcium. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Osteoporosis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Osteoporosis. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Prevention. National Osteoporosis Foundation.
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Last Review Date: 2019 Jun 5
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