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Prevention tips

a smiling, athletic, senior, African-American woman walking in a park carrying hand weights overhead and wearing headphones

Talk to your doctor about bone health and whether you need a bone mineral density (BMD) test – A BMD test tells you how strong your bones are. All women older than 65 should have a BMD test at least once. But women with certain risk factors for thinning bones, such as smoking, may need a BMD test sooner. If your bones aren't strong enough, your doctor can prescribe medicine to help make them stronger and harder to break.

Work with your doctor to develop a fitness plan – Regular physical activity makes your muscles stronger. This will help you maintain balance and keep from falling. Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control has shown that tai chi may be especially helpful for getting back your balance and keeping it.

Know your medicine – Find out about the possible side effects of medicines you use. Some medicines might affect your coordination or balance. If so, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your chances of falling. Or, ask if a different medicine might be better for you.

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Content last updated August 12, 2010.

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