A modern woman can do it all! From doing a 9-5 job to tending to household chores, from raising kids while running a successful company to catching up with friends and dancing the night away, the definition of a woman has evolved. So it’s only fair that the healthy practices one adopts also need a makeover.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily, even as a result of a minor fall, a bump, a sneeze, or a sudden movement. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of pain and long-term disability.”
In India, the numbers are rising at an alarming rate, especially among middle-aged women. Dr Saraswati Viswanathan, Orthopaedics Consultant, Sparsh hospital, shares five simple steps that can ensure your bones live a long and healthy life!
1. Understand your risk:
Before fixing a problem, one has to find out what is the nature of the problem. Similarly, it is crucial that one knows and understands what their risk of developing Osteoporosis is, or with those affected, the extent of the ailment. A bone mineral density (BMD) test effectively detects a person’s osteoporosis risk quickly and painlessly. The sooner you understand your risk level, the sooner you can understand how crucial prevention is to you.
2. Regulate your indulgences and lifestyle:
While it’s great to go out and knock back a few drinks, one should be mindful that alcohol inhibits absorption of vitamins, calcium and protein, the three essential factors that determine bone health. And cigarette consumption slows down the production of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for growing bones. So while you don’t have to stop having fun entirely, it is advisable to be mindful of the risk you are putting yourself into.
3. Be aware of your food habits:
As mentioned before, calcium, vitamin D and protein are three essentials for bone health. Calcium helps build strong bones; vitamin D ensures maximum absorption of calcium and protein rich food ensures higher Bone Mineral Density (BMD).
So ensure to have good portions of milk, leafy green vegetables, grains, nuts, and lean meat like fish, egg yolks, chicken in your regular diet and reduce your dependency on salt, soda and caffeine rich products.
4. Include exercise and follow a routine:
It’s never too late to add exercise into your daily routine. You can start with easily do-able exercises like brisk walking, climbing stairs, skipping. Even strenuous household activities like gardening, cleaning can also count for a workout. A good 30 minutes, three times a week should be a good start.
5. Know your body:
You could do everything right and still end up blind-sided when it comes to diseases like osteoporosis. Don’t be ignorant about your body. Ensure regular check-ups and consistency in your healthy practices.