Staying fit is more important than calcium intake in developing strong bones in girls and young women. A study has shown that, even among young girls who did not meet the recommended daily allowance for calcium, calcium did not dramatically affect bone strength (as reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, June 2004). Yet, a strong association existed between exercise and bone strength.
During the 10-year study, the researchers asked the participants about their exercise habits. The data indicated that 17% of bone strength could be attributed to exercise. Experts think that building bone mass in adolescence is the best way to prevent osteoporosis in old age.