By the looks of many elderly Americans, you would think there is no way to prevent osteoporosis, especially if it runs in your family. However, in reality keeping this bone disease from afflicting you is as simple as making a few adjustments in your lifestyle. The following list provides six ways to keep your bones healthy into old age.

1. Exercise regularly.

Specifically, do weight-bearing exercises like walking and strength-training. Such types of exercise keep your bones as well as your muscles strong. What do I mean by “regularly”? At least three times per week, thirty minutes at a time – but this should be your bare minimum, and you would do better to aim higher.

2. Avoid sugars and highly processed foods.

Both cause the body to go into an acidic state when consumed, so your body has to pull from its mineral stores – including calcium in the bones – to restore the body to its natural slightly alkaline state.

3. Take a magnesium supplement.

Most Americans are deficient in magnesium, because of the deplorable state of the soil in which our food is grown. And without magnesium, your body cannot absorb calcium, no matter how much you eat. Even better, consider taking a calcium-magnesium supplement to further reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

4. Eat lost of dark, leafy greens.

Kale, collard greens, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, dandelion greens, cabbage and Romaine lettuce are an excellent source of both calcium and magnesium. Consume two to three cups of any one or a combination every day. With the iron and other vitamins and minerals, they make a great way not only to prevent osteoporosis, but also to improve your overall health.

5. Reduce stress.

Like eating processed foods, a constant barrage of stress makes the body more acidic, again requiring a demand on the body’s mineral stores. Learn to manage stress and keep it from sending your emotions into a tailspin.

6. Avoid consuming pasteurized dairy products.

I know this sounds wrong, but research is conclusive: osteoporosis is most prevalent in countries where people drink pasteurized, instead of raw, milk. Of course, that may be indicative of the generally unhealthy diet that is consumed in those countries. Nevertheless, some nutrition experts argue that pasteurization distorts the molecular form of calcium, making it almost unavailable to the body.

Basically, to prevent osteoporosis you need to live a healthy lifestyle: cut out the processed foods, eat a lot of vegetables, exercise, and reduce stress levels. Focus on these things from youth to midlife, and by the time you’re a senior your bones should be in great shape.