Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
Diet and Exercise
To maintain strong healthy bones, follow the steps for osteoporosis prevention described in the Care and Treatment section. Maintain a healthy diet with an abundance of calcium-rich foods, get plenty of vitamin D—through a combination of diet and safe sun exposure—and make a habit of participating in regular bone-building exercise. Take dietary calcium and vitamin D supplements if needed. Make sure to follow your healthcare professional’s directions if you are taking medications.
Your response to lifestyle changes and drug treatments can be monitored by your healthcare professional using the DXA scan procedure. Periodic scans to assess your BMD will determine your rate of bone loss, and how well your treatments are working. Usually, your BMD will be monitored every year or two by DXA.
To keep fracture risk as low as possible, you must reduce your risk of falling as much as possible. This can be accomplished by following the strategies listed below:
- Follow an exercise program that includes strength and balance activities and gait training
- Avoid medicines that make you sleepy
- Make sure your blood pressure is checked regularly
- Remove household clutter and tripping hazards
- Make sure your house is well lit
- Have your hearing checked and use hearing aids if necessary
- Keep your eyes healthy and make sure your vision is good, eyeglasses are the correct prescription, cataracts are treated if necessary, and visits to the eye doctor are up to date. Avoid wearing bifocal lenses when walking on stairs.
- Wear safe, comfortable, well-fitting shoes
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of fluids; don’t let yourself get dehydrated
- Avoiding walking alone on icy days
- Install grab bars in the bathtub, in corridors, and on stairs when needed
- Use a cane or other assistive device if needed, and work with your healthcare provider to learn how to use them properly.
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012