A half-hour of regular weight-bearing exercise daily
(such as weight lifting, yoga, walking, aerobics, jogging).

Postmenopausal women showed a 5.2 percent increase in bone density after nine months of 50-60 minutes of weight-bearing exercise 3 times each week.

Swimming, which can help joint pain and limited mobility, shows no improvement in bone density; effective bone-building exercise must exert pressure on the bones.

Don't smoke.

Smoking causes a negative calcium balance (more calcium being lost than taken in).

Smoking is a proven risk factor associated with a host of other diseases besides osteoporosis.

Monitor caffeine consumption or avoid entirely.

Caffeine depletes calcium from the bones.

More than 2 cups of regular coffee or caffeinated sodas per day results in bone density loss leading to fractures later in life.

Acupressure and massage.

Beneficial for circulation and overall pain relief when focused on the bladder meridian, as well as feet and hands.

Localized massage can help for areas that are especially painful.

NOTE: To create a safe and effective program best suited for your needs, consult your health care practitioner. The above information should not be taken as medical advice.

Sources: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima Publishing, 1998) by Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND. Smart Medicine for Healthier Living (Avery, 1999) by Janet Zand, LAc, OMD; Allan N. Spreen, MD, CNC; and James B. LaValle, RPh, ND.