Has anyone (measurably) improved their bone density?

Background: I don’t do much exercise except cycling. I walk maybe 6-7000 steps per day on average. 2 months ago I had a hard crash on the road and broke my hip. GP referred me for a DEXA scan to check on bone density just in case that was a factor. Turns out that it’s low, but not crazy low. Not much I can improve on in turns of diet, alcohol etc., so she said that she was willing to prescribe biphosphonates, but I suggested trying alternative exercise for a year (and then rescan). I’m still on crutches at the moment, not allowed to walk (though I am allowed on the trainer - surgeon is a cyclist :slight_smile: ), but I plan to phase in a bit of jogging and some weight training over the coming months. There’s plenty of information out there on what exercises to do, and I’ll talk to physios as well, so I should be fine to figure out what to do.

Question: has anyone had a bone density measurement, and then taken on a period of specific exercise to increase bone density, and had measurable improvements? How much improvement is realistic? Actual increases or just a lack of decrease?


I’ve never had a specific measurement but I started thinking about it (bone density) more and more during my chemo a couple of years ago and similarly other than walking I do little other than cycling and whilst I have always bounced and not broken anything to my knowledge (although a surgeon friend thinks I might have done a collar bone as he noticed my shoulders are slightly out of alignment; no one else has ever raised it though) chemo is supposed to accelerate bone density issues. My only proxy measure was an off about 6 months post chemo when I again bounced so hopefully chemo didn’t degenerate things too much. If it did degenerate healthy (I hope) eating, a bit more walking and core/weights exercise may have regenerated it in that time. Good Luck!

High protein, vitamin d3 and k2, calcium from natural sources and weight training, have all been shown to increase bone density. I would stay away from bisphosphonates, they are nasty and can greatly complicate tooth extractions upto 10 years after stopping them

Thanks guys. Yes, I’ll definitely avoid biphosphonates unless things get significantly worse. I already take vitamins D and K, and consume plenty of dairy, so I think activity is the main thing that I can change…

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Your consumption of dairy might be contributing factor to your low bone density. A lot of the milk is good for bones is just marketing and bad science by the dairy industry. Dairy will leach calcium from your bones and the kidneys will dump it out of your body.

That’s just a poor study, a meta analysis as well as several interventional show dairy and protein intake strengthens bone (which of course makes sense too when you think what milk is supposed to do: provide all the nutrients for a growing mammal )

And an actual interventional study