I don’t want osteoporosis. And I bet you don’t either. But the odds are stacked against us. Eighty percent of osteoporosis cases are women—that’s about 8 million women with thinning and weakening of the bones leading to low bone mass and increased fracture risk, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Half of all women will lose bone mass after their 50th birthday, and between 5 and 20 percent will get full-on osteoporosis (it’s less common in African Americans than Caucasians, Asian Americans and Latinas).Fortunately, if you’re reading this column on this side of menopause, there are some simple steps that you can do now to decrease your risk:Walk. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens your bones because it makes them work against the force of gravity. Walking is a great example—no equipment required! And if there’s any time to enjoy the body-building benefits of a long walk, it’s summertime! The sun is shining for most of us, regardless of where we live, so take advantage of being outdoors and get your steps in. If it gets too hot, schedule your walks in the early hours or late at night. Any time is the right time.Eat an ice cream cone. What says summertime more than a dripping ice cream cone, right? Low calcium levels have been shown to correlate with low bone mass, so dairy foods are especially important for women to maintain bone strength. Consider this a doctor’s note to eat ice cream. (I like coffee ice cream, but your favorite flavor will work just as well.) To get your dairy without packing in too much sugar—or if ice cream is not your thing—there are many other great sources of calcium, including other low-fat dairy items (think milk, cheese and yogurt), sardines, fortified orange juice, dark leafy green vegetables and tofu.Go easy on the sauce. Watch those summer wine spritzers or whatever alcoholic beverage you might choose to drink on a hot summer night. Too much alcohol has many risks associated with it, including an increased risk of bone loss. Stick to the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than one drink per day for women. And while you’re at it, if you still smoke, this is another great reason to quit: Smokers not only harm their hearts and lungs, but their bones as well. (How fabulous is it that as of last week’s National Center for Health Statistics release of 2012 data, only 18 percent of American adults are still smoking? Join the smoke-free trend!)Find out about early screening. If you are over the age of 65, current guidelines recommend screening with a bone mineral density. However, if you have a risk factor, then you may need to consider screening at an earlier age. Risk factors include smoking and excessive drinking, long-term use of certain medications, low body weight, history of non-traumatic fractures, family history or other medical disorders associated with osteoporosis. If you fit into any of these categories, then speak with your physician about possible early screening.MORE: Is There Really Such a Things as Being “Big Boned”?