#WOD2016

Nope, this isn’t a CrossFit post, WOD isn’t referring to the Workout of the Day, but instead an issue that deserves our attention – October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day(WOD).

The reason we have an annual WOD is to raise awareness and take early action to look after our bones and muscles.

Osteoporosis is thought of as being a disease of older people, however, often the risk factors are present earlier in life. It has been referred to as a silent disease and this is why knowing what the risk factors are can help us to be proactive.

Osteoporosis is more common in females and your risk also increases if you have a direct relative with an osteoporotic fracture.  There are also some conditions, medications and ways of eating that can affect bone density.  That said, there is a simple test that can be done to see if you are affected.

Again, its about knowing your risk factors and doing what you can to protect your health.

I’ve talked about this notion before – know your risk (in this case for Osteoporosis) and take appropriate action – knowledge is power!!

Even before you trip off to the GP, there are 5 steps you can take to healthy bones and to be free of fractures (except for accidents – we can’t stop those!)

As according to http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org this is the action you can take:

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The 5 steps to healthy bones and a fracture-free future:

1. Exercise regularly

Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.

2. Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients

Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important for bone health. Safe exposure to sunshine will help you get enough vitamin D.

3. Avoid negative lifestyle habits

Maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking.

4. Find out whether you have risk factors

and bring these to your doctor’s attention, especially if you’ve had a previous fracture or have specific diseases and medications that affect bone health.

5. Get tested and treated if needed

If you’re at high risk you will likely need medication to ensure optimal protection against fracture.

For more information on each of these steps click here.

 

Have you got risk factors? Talk to your doctor, ask for testing.

If you are over the age of 50 and you have one or more risk factors you should discuss these with your doctor and ask for an assessment of your bone health status. Lifestyle changes may be recommended and, for those at high risk, medication may be prescribed for optimal protection against fractures.

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So, on Thursday, for WOD – ask yourself many of the 5 steps you can ‘tick off’ and take on the responsibility to #loveyourbones !!

 

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Nobody wants a broken down car….

When I was younger, I remember my Mum saying ‘you don’t have much if you don’t have your health.’  I’ve been blessed with a very wise Mum (in that instance and countless others too).  It may shock her to hear me say, she was right – but she was, and still is.  Though, even with that in mind, we often take our health for granted, don’t we, until something goes wrong?  Have you done that?

If we take some time to look after it (and ‘service it’, like I’m sure you do for your car) you will most certainly not regret it.  Its really up to us as individuals to ‘perform the preventative maintenance’ on ourselves!  I’m not into cars at all – that analogy just came to me as I was typing – seems to fit well though, even if I say so myself!

What preventative maintenance I’m talking about?  Its just simply about taking responsibility for your health and managing it accordingly.  The thing is, making not so great health choices might not noticeably affect you in the short term.  But if you keep choosing unhealthy options, it will catch up with you in the longer term.  Just saying.

You see, the human body is quite amazing and extremely efficient.  It is capable of compensating for a long time (depending on the specific function), but when it stops working the way it should, only then, do individuals start to consider seeking health care, see the second paragraph for a better plan!

The other really important thing you can do, which only takes a few conversations with your family – is find out about your family’s health history.  Why is this even important?  It is especially important when it comes to knowing your risk for the lifestyle diseases.

The term ‘lifestyle diseases’ refers to conditions which are contributed to by such factors as poor nutritional intakes and physical inactivity – both frighteningly common in first world countries.   They include conditions as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes.  There are some predisposing factors we can’t do anything about (like increasing age, family history/genetics and even gender in some cases to name a few) and then there is the factors we can alter like (inadequate nutritious food intake, amount of physical activity, alcohol intake and tobacco use).  So, knowing your risk factors and choosing to manage them is crucial to providing ‘preventative maintenance’ and taking responsibility for your health!

That’s right, we are in control (behind the wheel) of our own health.  Do you take your health for granted (cruise control)?  If not, what have you done to take control (take the steering wheel) of your health lately?