Preventing Osteoporosis

Last week’s blog post focused on the symptoms, risk factors and detection of Osteoporosis. While certain factors can increase one’s risk for Osteoporosis, there are some measures that all women can take to help prevent the development of Osteoporosis.

Weight-bearing exercises and muscle-strengthening exercises can help women increase bone mass before menopause and slow bone loss after menopause because bones are strengthened when muscles pull on them. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has some great information about what types of exercises are good for your bones.

In addition, it’s important that women get enough Calcium. Calcium helps slow the rate of bone loss. It can be obtained by eating foods that are rich in Calcium and through Calcium supplements, if necessary. This chart that shows the amount of Calcium a woman should get throughout her lifetime:


Calcium intake/day

11-18 years old

1500 mg

18-50 years old

1000 mg


1200 mg


1500 mg

Vitamin D is necessary to ensure that Calcium is adequately absorbed and incorporated into your bones. Vitamin D can be obtained through your diet (particularly certain kinds of fish) and is activated in the skin by sun light. In general, adults should obtain 1000 units of Vitamin D daily. Vitamin D supplements and/or therapy might be recommended for individuals who are not getting an adequate amount.

Here are some simple ways you can boost your intake of Vitamin D:

  • Drink at least 2 cups of Vitamin D3-fortified milk a day
  • Use milk instead of water in making hot chocolate, soups and sauces
  • Choose Vitamin D-fortified yogurts and cheeses whenever possible
  • Check labels and choose breakfast cereals that are fortified with Vitamin D
  • Flake tuna on top of a salad for a hearty lunch or make tuna salad sandwiches
  • If you drink soy beverages, choose a Vitamin D-fortified brand
  • Grill or bake salmon for a Vitamin D rich meal once a week


In addition to performing weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises and ensuring you are getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D, eating a balanced diet, not smoking and limiting alcohol can help prevent the development of Osteoporosis.

To learn more about how we incorporate bone health into the care we provide at Virginia Women’s Center, visit our website.