Osteoporosis and the risk of fragility fracture can be prevented.
This is going to be very, very simple.
And very, very, important to pay attention to, today.Right now.
We all need to get this.
The question is this:
Who is at risk for ‘fragility fracture’?
Fragile bones are weak, delicate, brittle... fragile bones with no substantial supportive structure.
Osteoporosis does not mean fragile bones, it just means you have less bone density than when you were 30.
Low bone density is only a problem if the bone density that you do have is fragile. You can have low bone density and have strong bones.
You can have low bone density and have fragile bones.
Fragile bones can be prevented. Pay attention.
Who is at risk for fragility fracture?
- The people who are at risk are frail.
They are frail for only a few reasons.
- The people who are frail stopped drinking water, and they decided years earlier to drink something else.
“I don’t like water”, they said, and so they wouldn’t drink it.
And they lost a little bone strength, a little bone density, and they moved a little closer to osteoporosis.
- The people who are at risk don’t like vegetables. They like meat.
And potatoes with gravy.
And because they don’t like vegetables, they decided to leave them on the plate, and ate all the other things on the plate.
And they lost a little more bone strength, and got a little closer to osteoporosis.
- The people who are at risk stopped moving.
They retired at 58 or 60, or 62, or 65. And they found a comfortable chair.
And a remote control.
And a bag of popcorn, or a bologna sandwich.
And they stopped moving. And their muscles became a little weaker, and the bones did not have much muscle stress on them, so they did not have much to do, and the bones gave up a little of their structure because they no longer needed it. It wasn’t being used, so it went away.
And they moved closer to osteoporosis.
And they would say “But it hurts when I walk.”
So they wouldn’t walk.
- And eventually, they wouldn’t get up out of the chair, except to go to the bathroom, or to get a bologna sandwich or some popcorn.
And they lost a little more bone mass, and moved a little closer to osteoporosis.
Eventually, they got a walker. Because they were stiff, and it hurt when they walked. The walker helped them get to the bathroom, and the kitchen. And they felt a little safer, because their sense of balance and coordination was not good.
Balance and coordination were not good because their muscles and bones no longer had much to do, and the messages to the nerve system didn’t work so well any more.
Then, they got a scooter. “Medicare will pay for it, why not?”
And they lost a little bone along the way, and scooted a little closer to osteoporosis. And they moved a little closer to the risk of fragility fracture.
Eventually, they got a special chair so that, when they pushed a button, it would push them up to a standing postion. So they could get to the bathroom, or the next bag of popcorn.
- They sat there, and enjoyed their television, and they rusted. Their joints corroded, and they couldn’t move very well anymore. “It hurts to walk”, they would say. So they didn’t.
And they became a little more fragile, and increased their osteoporosis.
- And they moved to the nursing home. They lost their coordination skills, because they didn’t use their muscles and bones.
In fact, their bone mass just withered away, same as the astronauts in space. “Use it or Lose it”, people would say.
“But it hurts to walk”, they would say.
And with the walker, or the scooter, they could get to the bathroom.
- Except, one day, they fell, and suddenly they knew, they had osteoporosis in a serious way, because their hip broke and they couldn’t move.
And while they were stuck in bed healing, they lost bone mass faster than ever before… 1% per week… more than they should lose in a year. Their osteoporosis got worse, quickly, although they couldn’t feel it. But they didn’t heal well, because they didn’t like vegetables, and they wouldn’t drink their water, and now they couldn’t walk.
And they never got out of the bed.
All right, I know… there are circumstances, and situations, and etc.
But let’s not make excuses and maybes, let’s be real and responsible and accountable to ourselves and respectful of the gift of life.
Let’s resolve to be the best we can be within the circumstances, and be the best we can be, with a smile on our face.
There is a moral to the story, and it is related to your vision of the future.
It is directly connected to how you look at aging, and how you see yourself as you get older.
Ask yourself… What is your vision of yourself at 75?.
How do you see yourself? Pushing a walker around, or walking briskly a mile a day, every day, rain or shine.
Of course you want to avoid fragility fractures. And more than that, you can avoid osteoporosis by improving your quality of life right now, making a better life as you age.
You can make a difference in your own life.
Here are the rules:
- Drink your water… make it your beverage of choice, and enjoy a lot of it every day.
- Eat your vegetables… not just iceberg lettuce, but a variety of colors, red, green, yellow, veggies and fruits of all types, all year round. 60% of our daily food should be in the form of plants. A variety of plant-based foods, nature’s best grown from the living earth – the best source of nutrition for your active life.
If you don’t eat veggies, you still need the nutrients they provide. I suggest you do what Lisa and I do to give us some assurance we are getting what we need… take a supplement, veggies and fruit in capsules (go here to learn why.)
And take a little Vitamin C; it is required by the body to build collagen fiber, the strong, flexible material where bone cells attach.
- Move. Life is motion, so move. Walk. Walk, every day. Do something to move your muscles, and move your bones.
Even standing makes a difference. Stand, just stand on your feet – stand for 10 hours a week (that is only 5 minutes an hour, 15 hours a day); this is enough to reduce your risk of fragility fracture.
Or even better, walk for 4 hours a week, every week of your life… that is only about 30 minutes a day, every day. This is enough to significantly reduce your risk of fragility fracture.
Dance a little, do some Tai Chi, some Yoga – these things increase your balance and coordination, which reduces your risk of falling. Falling is a major cause of broken bones.
It is up to you. You get to choose.
How do you see yourself at 80, or 90, or 100?
Weak, frail, fragile? Or strong, vibrant, alive?
It is your choice. You must choose now. Today.
What do you really want?
Choose it, and then live it.