how to prevent and manage osteopenia

Exercise Your Bones

Just like your muscles, your bones get stronger if you give them a workout. Weight-bearing exercises are best for your bones. They’re the ones that force your body to work against gravity as you move. That prompts the body to make new bone.

Weight-bearing exercises include:

Climbing stairs
Tennis and other racket sports
Tai chi
Water aerobics

Calcium and Vitamin D Build Bones

When your body doesn’t have enough calcium, it will start to break down your bones to get what it needs. That means you lose bone mass. So it’s important to make sure you have this nutrient every day in your diet or from supplements. Get it from:

Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
Calcium-fortified juices and foods, like cereal, soy milk, and tofu
Sardines and salmon with bones
Dark green vegetables, like kale and broccoli

Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium you eat. Not many foods naturally have the nutrient, but you can get it in:

Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna
Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks
Fortified foods like milk, cereal, and orange juice
Your skin also naturally makes vitamin D when sunlight hits it. You can get at least some of what you need if you spend a little time outdoors every day. But don’t overdo it – too much time in the sun raises your chances for skin cancer.