Tips and Tools: Tips for lifestyle changes to prevent osteoporosis

First, you need to check bad habits at the door: stop smoking, limit caffeine intake and start exercising. A weight-bearing exercise program can prevent bone loss and help strengthen the bone mass you still have. This can mean taking an aerobics or Tai Chi class or participating in a weekly game of tennis or bowling, for example. Of course, it's always recommended that you check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

If you can't participate in regular or organized exercise, keeping active around the house or with friends can be just as effective. Going for daily walks, using the stairs, gardening, dancing, golfing and even doing housework are all ways to get your body moving.

Second, eat well. It's never too late to start following a healthy diet. Getting enough calcium is essential to bone health, and can easily be done by eating the right foods. And by increasing your calcium intake, you're also going to be taking in other nutrients, which can make all-round improvements in your health.

Keep in mind that while you're increasing your calcium, you also need enough vitamin D for the calcium to be absorbed effectively. You can get it from the sun (remember to use sunscreen to reduce damage from the sun's rays) and from foods like vitamin D-enriched milk, cod liver oil, beef liver and sardines.

Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements