Your genes are responsible for determining your height and the strength of your skeleton, butlifestyle factors such as diet andexercise influence how healthy your bones are.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is essential.Adults aged 19 to 64 should doat least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking , every week.

Weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise are particularly important for improving bone density and helping to prevent osteoporosis.

As well as aerobic exercise, adults aged 19 to 64 should also do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week byworking all the major muscle groups, including the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, arms and shoulders.

If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it's a good idea to talk to your GP or health specialist before starting a new exercise programme to make sure it's right for you.

High-impact weight-bearing exercises, such as running , skipping, dancing , aerobics, and even jumping up and down on the spot, are all useful ways to strengthen your muscles, ligaments and joints.

When exercising,wear footwear that provides your ankles and feet with adequate support, such as trainers or walking boots.

This can include brisk walking, keep-fit classes or a game of tennis. Swimming and cycling aren't weight-bearing exercises, however.

Examples include press-ups, weightlifting or using weight equipment at a gym.

If you've recently joined a gym orhaven't been for a while, your gym will probably offer you an induction. This involves being shown how to use the equipment and having exercise techniques recommended to you.

Always ask an instructor for help if you're not sure how to use a piece of gym equipment or how to do a particularexercise.

It can help prevent many serious health conditions, including Coronary heart disease , diabetes and many forms of cancer , as well as osteoporosis.

Calcium is importantfor maintaining strong bones. Adults need 700mg a day, which youshould be able to get from your daily diet. Calcium-rich foods include:

  • leafy green vegetables
  • dried fruit
  • tofu
  • yoghurt

Vitamin D is also important for healthy bones and teeth becauseit helps your body absorb calcium.All adults should consume 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D a day. Good dietary sources are:

  • oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herringand mackerel
  • red meat
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • fortified foods such as most fat spreads and somebreakfast cereals
  • dietary supplements.

However, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from foods alone. So, all adults should consider takinga daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D.


Other factors

Other lifestyle factors that can help prevent osteoporosis include:

  • quitting smoking smoking is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis
  • limiting your alcohol intake the NHS recommends not drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week; it's also important to avoid binge drinking

on theNational Osteoporosis Society website.

Get some sun!

From late March/April to the end of September, sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D , which helps your body absorb calcium .

This process helps strengthen teeth and bones, which in turn helps prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 25 Nov 2016