Use It Or Loose It
Use It Or Loose It applies to bone strength. We all know that muscle must be used to remain strong. Orthopedic surgeons have known for decades that unused bone disappears. Put a leg in a cast for 2-3 months, and it is years before bone and muscle size and strength fully return.
Bone strength is much easier to maintain than rebuild. You cannot put off regular moderate exercise until “next year”. What is lost, is lost. Even medications can only partially help to replace it.
Long term studies of astronauts are extreme, and scary. Despite daily heavy use of resistance exercises on the Space Station, bone loss is huge. The scary part is that, after 5 years of rehab at full earth gravity, bones are still smaller and weaker than before the loss!
Take Control Naturally. Exercise regularly so that you can do what you want to do. Avoid osteoporosis and increased fracture risk.
Stand and walk every day for at least 20-30 minutes. If you need a cane or walker for balance, use it. If you can only walk a short distance, work on it several times a day until you can walk further. Do not overdo. Stop when you are tired. But get up again and again throughout the day. And every day throughout the year.
Enter the Blue Zones. You could live a long time. Be fit enough to enjoy it.
Jay Ginther, MD