Yes, both diet and exercise help build stronger bones, but which has the greater influence? Researchers at the University of Michigan give the edge to diet. A U of Michigan news release reports that when researchers at the school looked at mineral supplementation and exercise in mice, they were surprised to learn that nutrition has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. They also found that even after the exercise training stopped, the mice retained bone strength gains as long as they ate a mineral-supplemented diet, and that diet alone has beneficial effects on bone, even without exercising. The best way to build stronger bones, unsurprisingly, was with a combination of exercise and diet.