Archive for the ‘Take Control Naturally’ Category
Choose your parents well. Their genetics mix to form your genetics. Your genetics play a large role in determining your potential strengths and weaknesses. However, what you do with your potential is up to you.
We all wish we could be something we are not, and never can be. That is completely natural, but not helpful. You have to play the hand you were dealt. You have to take control of your future, and you can.
If your parents had great bones, you probably will too – as long as you take care of them with Calcium, Vitamin D, Protein, Exercises, Balance, and Avoid Smoking.
If your parents crumbled into kyphosis (humpback) or broke a hip, due to osteoporosis, you better get working on what you can control as early as possible. You will probably need medications eventually, but starting on natural treatments early enough can delay that need for years.
If you Take Control Naturally of what you can control early enough, you can achieve many years of fracture free life. That’s as good as it gets.
Jay Ginther, MD
Smoking is a major risk factor for fractures. Smoking suppresses the osteoblasts (the cells that make new bone). The osteoclasts (cells that eat away bone) then can easily outdo the osteoblasts, and you lose bone mass. Lower bone mass = more fractures.
Stopping smoking altogether is the best for your bone health. That is really tough to do. E-cigarettes have not proven less harmful to bone. Nicotine patches help only if they eventually lead to less nicotine intake than with smoking.
The damage smoking does to your bones (and lungs, and heart) is dose related. Therefore, cutting way down is almost as good as quitting, and often much easier to do.
Especially if you are trying to heal a fracture, stopping smoking, even for a few weeks, is really important. 1 ppd smokers are 5 to 10 times as likely to not heal a fracture. The same is true for infection rate after surgery.
Steroid Inhalers also suppress osteoblasts and bone formation. Unfortunately many cannot get off their steroid inhalers, even after they quit smoking. Major bummer.
Take Control Naturally of your bone health. Stop Smoking. Or at least cut way back.
Jay Ginther, MD
The purpose of good bone health is to prevent fractures. Most fractures happen as a result of a fall. If you do not fall, you decrease your fracture risk. How do you prevent falls?
Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles. Strong muscles are part of the solution. But you also need good balance. Good balance requires exercises to strengthen the muscles required for balance.
Balance exercises have been used for centuries to keep people limber and free from falling, and thereby, free from fractures. They are often taught in group sessions, but can be performed alone on any flat surface.
Tai Chi and Yoga are the best known ancient balance exercises. Daily, or at least 3 times weekly, sessions of 20-30 minutes will gradually improve your balance and prevent falls.
Less interesting, but easier to do anywhere, is simply walking on your toes for several minutes. More challenging is walking on your heels, like a penguin. If you can do that for 2 minutes straight, you have great muscles, strong ankles, and are unlikely to stumble, even on uneven ground.
Take Control Naturally by working on your Balance. Remember that proper nutrition is necessary for strong muscles and bones.
Jay Ginther, MD
Use them or lose them. Bones grow – or shrink – to meet their daily needs. You must be on your feet standing and walking every day if you want to be able to stand and walk. You must climb stairs most days if you want to be able to some days.
People forced to stay in bed, due to disease or injury, for days or weeks, have lost muscle and bone. Space Station Astronauts still have lower bone mass ten years after returning to earth.
Bones respond to constant weight-bearing and to impact. Therefore, walking on a firm surface strengthens your legs and spine more than bicycling, stair-stepper, or treadmill. Jogging and running apply more impact.
But remember, that a sudden increase in impact – intensity or duration – can produce stress fractures. Gradually increase the speed or duration of any exercise over weeks and months. Stretch before and after exercises for the sake of muscles, joints and bones.
Daily exercise is important, but alternating days of heavy and light exercise is even more important.
Take Control Naturally of your Bone Health. Light exercise daily. Longer or faster exercise 2 or 3 times weekly.
Jay Ginther, MD