World Osteoporosis Day has been observed annually on October 20th since 1996. The inaugural celebration was supported by the UK’s National Osteoporosis Society and the European Commission, but subsequent events have been organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and sometimes co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year World Osteoporosis Day launches a year-long campaign focusing on a different theme. The theme for 2011 is “3 Steps to Unbreakable Bones: Vitamin D, Calcium, and Exercise.
Osteoporosis is a serious, silent (since it often goes undiagnosed or untreated) disease that effects one in three women over the age of fifty, and one in five men in the same age group. One third of older adults who suffer a hip fracture lose their ability to live independently within one year. Even worse, one in five of them will die. Knowing all of this, this disease is something that has always lingered in the back of my mind. I’ve often worried that I don’t get enough calcium, mostly because I don’t drink a lot of dairy due to lactose intolerance. And not only that — I also have a family history of osteoporosis. My father’s mother had a severe case that caused her difficulty moving around during the final years of her life.
In observance of World Osteoporosis Day I decided to take the first steps toward achieving good bone health. First, I consulted the label on the vitamins I’ve been taking. They provide 100% of the daily suggested amount of Vitamin D, which is great since Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium. Unfortunately, they only provoke 23% of the daily suggested amount of calcium. I’m going to have to assess the rest of my diet to see if this need is being met. Next, I created a strength training plan using some routine building tools I found online. I’ve been spending about five hours a week on the elliptical for the past few months, but I’ve been putting off strength training. But I know how important muscle mass and bone density is for a healthy body so when we return from vacation I’m going to replace or supplement three of my cardio days at the gym with weight lifting. I know that will make my workout buddy Vicky happy…I hope she knows she’s going to have to help keep me from hurting myself or looking stupid since I’m so uncoordinated! But even if I do end up looking like an idiot at least I’ll be an idiot with strong, healthy bones!
Tomorrow’s holiday trades bones for buttons — it’s Count Your Buttons Day! But one more thing before we sign off for the night…we’d like to wish a most wonderful and happy 93rd Birthday to my Grandma Prophet!