Healthy lifestyle choices in early adulthood build a higher peak bone mass and reduce your risk of osteoporosis in later years. The same measures may lower your risk of falls and improve your overall health if you adopt them at any age. Tips include:

  • Exercise to strengthen bones and improve balance. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, encourage your body to increase bone density. Exercise also increases your overall strength, making you less likely to fall. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. Balance training is also key to reducing your risk of falls, since balance tends to deteriorate with age.
  • Don't drink excessively or smoke. Preserve your bone density by avoiding the excessive use of alcohol and by not smoking. Drinking too much alcohol also can impair your balance and make you more likely to fall.
  • Assess your home for fall hazards. Remove throw rugs, keep electrical cords against the wall, and clear excess furniture and anything else that could trip you. Make sure every room and passageway is well lit.
  • Check you eyes. Go to your eye doctor for an exam every other year, or more often if you have diabetes or an eye disease.
  • Watch your medications. Feeling weak and dizzy, which are possible side effects of many medications, can increase your risk of falling. Talk to your doctor about side effects caused by your medications.
Mar. 22, 2012