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.
    • Taking vitamin D supplements. You may find it difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone and may consider taking a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin with vitamin D in it. Refer to HealthLinkBC File #68e Food Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D for food source ideas and information on supplements. Talk to your health care provider about the right supplement for you.
    • 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. According to some experts, 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk for osteoporosis.footnote 1 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.

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References

Citations

  1. Papaioannou A, et al. (2010). 2010 clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in Canada: Summary. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 182(17): 1864-1873. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.100771. Accessed October 28, 2014.

Credits

Adaptation Date: 12/3/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Date: 12/3/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC