I'm a 35-year-old woman of average build and have a family history of osteoporosis. I exercise, don't smoke, and try to eat a calcium-rich balanced diet. What other steps can I take to prevent osteoporosis?
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
It sounds as though you are taking very good steps to prevent osteoporosis. Exercisehas a wide variety of beneficial health effects. However, exercise does not bring about substantial increases in bone density. The benefit of exercise for osteoporosis has mostly to do with decreasing the risk of falls, probably because balance is improved and/or muscle strength is increased. Research has not yet determined what type of exercise is best for osteoporosis or for how long. Until research has answered these questions, most doctors recommend weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, preferably daily.