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Bone Health in Female Athletes

 Thirty-five to 50 percent of women have low bone mass by age 50. Your lifetime risk of having a hip fracture is higher than breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer combined.

Thirty percent of women will die within a year of having a hip fracture. We need to start prioritizing bone health.


What can you do to promote healthy bone mass as you age….especially as an athlete?

  1. Train smart. Muscle, tendon and ligament remodeling and strengthening are relatively quick compared to bone remodeling and strengthening. Adjust your training to load the bone in a progressive, appropriate way for what you will be doing.

  2. Remember—bone is almost 50% collagen (a protein)!! You need high protein in addition to calcium and vitamin D to BUILD and maintain strong bones.

  3. Loading the bone through jumping/plyometric exercises AND increasing the muscle mass pulling on the bone through strength training are the two ways to strengthen bone through exercise. Yes—even those with osteoporosis can do these things to increase bone mass.

  4. Lastly, EAT enough to fuel your training.

Don’t just train for your next race. Train for life!

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