Two popular options to inhibit bone loss that results from osteopenia: You can take a drug or begin strength training. Both have side-effects.
From this NYT article Splits Form Over How to Address Bone Loss:
“Millions of people worldwide, most of them women, have been told they have osteopenia and should take drugs to inhibit bone loss. But the drugs carry risks, so many public-health experts say the diagnosis often does more harm than good.”
The possible side-effects of osteoporosis drugs:
Bone and joint pain
An improperly designed strength training program results in injury, drudgery, and wasted time. The side-effects of a properly designed strength training program:
Enhance joint flexibility
Improves balance and coordination
Increased protection of bones and joints
Improves functioning of your immune system
Best of all you will just feel better
The exercise program we use at our Austin strength training facility was derived from a study working with osteoporosis patients. Researchers found that bone density increased, joints hurt less, and muscles were stronger and more toned with minimal time exercising. It has been shown effective for women and men of all ages.
One of our clients was 65 years old when she started. She worked out once a week for 30 minutes of strength training. It takes time for the muscles and bones to recover from the stress of strength training. A year later her bone density had increased 12.4 percent. Obviously results will vary, but others have had similar results.
Past blog posts on the subject of osteopenia: