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How can I help maintain bone density as I age?

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
Regardless of whether your bone mineral density (BMD) is low enough to warrant bisphosphonate medication, there is much you can do to maintain and even improve bone density. Get more weight-bearing exercise; this means activities that force you to work against gravity, supporting your own body weight. This places your bones under stress, stimulating the natural remodeling process (process of continuous breakdown and rebuilding of the bones). It also helps build muscle that can help support your bones and protect them from injury. Balance training, via yoga and tai chi, also is beneficial to help prevent falls.

It also is vital to consume sufficient calcium, a major mineral component of bone. The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1,200 milligrams in postmenopausal women; the best way to get this is through intake of dairy products. And fall prevention is key. The majority of fractures occur in the setting of a fall. Many women live for years with osteoporosis and don't find out they have it until they fall and fracture a bone.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.