Give your thirsty bones the calcium they need -- and a fighting chance against osteoporosis.

©iStockphoto.com/evemilla

Nearly one-third of bone loss can occur before a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made. But you can prevent future bone loss caused by osteoporosis with early detection. Also, once you've had a fracture due to osteoporosis, your risk of future fractures is increased. It is important to prevent the first fracture. Taking preventive steps and reviewing risk factors now are especially smart approaches for women of all ages.

There are four simple steps to prevent osteoporosis:
  • increase the amount of calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • exercise regularly; weight-bearing exercises like walking and weight lifting help bones stay strong
  • if you smoke, develop a plan now to stop smoking or ask your health care professional to recommend methods to help you quit
  • drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink In some women, medication may also be helpful. Ask your health care professional what the best osteoporosis prevention strategy is for you.

See the next page to learn more about dietary strategies for bone health.