Why Women Need to Mind Their Bones (Infographic)

Eighty is today's surprising health number

health hub number 80 women osteoporosis

The percentage of Americans with osteoporosis who are women is a whopping 80 percent — totaling more than 35 million people. What’s the message for women? Mind your bones!

While bone density – the amount of tissue contained in bone – diminishes as we age, exercise is one way to help offset the effects.

Exercise tips for women in their 30s

Our 30s are a key time, when bone begins to break down faster than we can build it, so high-impact, weight-bearing activity becomes critical to preventing extreme bone loss.

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High-impact exercises include running/jogging, high-impact aerobics, repetitive stair climbing, dancing, racquetball and other sports.

Exercise tips for women in their 50s, 60s and beyond

In our 50s, 60s and beyond, or if our bone density is low, we should do high-impact exercise only with a doctor’s permission or under the direction of a physical therapist due to risks of joint pain and fracture.

Low-impact exercises still benefit bone health, positively impact quality of life, increase comfort, help maintain balance and agility and decrease the risk of falls leading to fractures.

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Cycling and swimming, while excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise, do not improve bone health as much as these low-impact exercises: walking, elliptical trainer, low-impact aerobics and stair-stepping machine.

health hub number 80 women osteoporosis

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  • Lucinda

    I just had a Dexa which shows osteoporosis in my left hip (T-score -2.6) Is it possible to actually improve this score to within a normal range by a combination of weight-bearing exercises, vitamin D3 supplements (5,000 IU daily), plus increased calcium? I’m a healthy 66 year-old women. Thanks for your help!
    p.s. Great website


  • ed

    Millions of men have osteoporosis, often from immobility following traumatic accidents. Because 95% of messages like this ignore men, they are rarely screened for it. My score of the remaining hip has been -4.2 for decades. The hip replacement I received in 1995 must be replaced now.

  • carolyn coward

    I have just learned I have severe osteoporosis in my lumbar region of my spine. I will not use actonel because of the controversy is it possible for me to build my bone back with what I am now doing. I am taking 700 mg calsium 1000mg vitamins and500 mg magnesium twice s day and walking two miles a day. I am desperate about not using actonel so please tell me what I needto do.

    • Ann

      I think you are very likely making a wise decision here. These bone building drugs have serious potential side effects. You might try to find an Integrative physician with an interest in osteoporosis. Also, check at Amazon, because there are many good books on alternative/prevention treatments. And some good exercise videos for those with this condition; although walking is very good!!!! I think the Osteoporosis Society has an on-line forum and many there are seriously trying natural methods first, before considering an RX medication. Until you find an interested and cooperative doctor, you might see if someone at your local health food store is aware of a good bone building supplement…as there are some good formulas out there. Vitamin K is now considered an important part of the mix, and some are saying to slightly reduce calcium (from pills) intake as it can bother the heart. Some are also saying to reduce dairy foods and eat more green veggies…a possibly better combination in getting good quality calcium. Oh, and don’t touch soda and reduce caffeine and sugar to very minimum intake! Hang in there!

  • Ann

    Great article to encourage exercise to prevent Osteoporosis. New studies indicate calcium, particularly dairy calcium is not as beneficial as once thought. Green vegetables might be even better. Also an even better supplement with not just calcium and D, but also Vitamin K and other supplements is more foward thinking.

  • https://plus.google.com/+Securitycamera-ny/about?hl=en Mark

    I have wondered the same thing..makes me skeptical of all of these “run for the cure, walk for the cure,”

  • RuthAnnWood

    I was just told my bones looked good for my age but I might have cppd, What is the best treatment for this condition….pseudo gout??? Very painful in medial aspect of left knee! Any advice would be appreciated! Thank You!