How our lifestyle choices today impact our health in the future.
Fifteen years ago I began to improve my health further by a lifestyle choice I made. Since that time, small, incremental steps have led to enormous strides in my healing and, unbeknownst to me at the time, protection of my future health, almost like an insurance policy. I am continually amazed, and deeply grateful, that what I discovered has had a profound impact on the quality and longevity of my life. Proper nutrition accompanied by daily exercise and awareness is my personal success formula. Discovering the absolute power I have in guiding my health through nutrition and exercise led me to become a lifestyle fitness trainer and nutrition coach.
The topic of lifestyle choices is one of great magnitude. Today, I will address the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Let's explore osteoporosis as an example of how lifestyle choices we make now impact our future health. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when your body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. This causes the bones to weaken, become sponge-like, and are more easily fractured. Around age 30, bone mass stops increasing. Yes, you read that correctly, age 30.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Those which we do not have control over are having a family history of osteoporosis, being over 50, being female, being postmenopausal, and being underweight or having a small frame. Also, there are certain medications that may promote bone loss. Preexisting health conditions such as Celiac disease, multiple myeloma, lupus, kidney or liver diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer can increase the risk of osteoporosis. In the past I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and lupus, both of which I have overcome with lifestyle choices. Thankfully, I made the lifestyle choices I did, and continue to practice, because today my bone mass, which is the total weight of all the bones (mineral and matrix content) in my body, is excellent.
How can we help ourselves reduce the risk of or avoid osteoporosis? Nutrition and exercise are two scientifically proven ways. Let's begin with exercise.
Movement is what our bodies are meant to do. DAILY EXERCISE of at least 30 minutes per day and weight-bearing exercises are recommended. Weight-bearing exercises are exercises that you do on your feet so that your muscles and bones have to work against gravity to keep you upright. Our bones respond to the weight by becoming stronger.
Here are some examples of weight-bearing exercises: Dancing, walking, climbing stairs, hiking, jogging, jumping rope, tennis, yard work, and strength-training exercises.
NUTRITION is a powerhouse of prevention. Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamins D3 and B12 are needed in adequate amounts within our bodies to aid in preventing osteoporosis.
Calcium is found in our bones and teeth, and is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Plant-based calcium sources include green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, broccoli, whole grains such as quinoa, oatmeal, and amaranth, dried fruit, and seeds and nuts.
There are FOODS AND DRINKS TO AVOID to prevent osteoporosis because some may actually encourage a loss of calcium from your bones. Consider reducing or eliminating caffeine, soda (particularly dark colas), wheat bran, alcohol, animal protein, and foods high in sodium.
I encourage you to consider where you can make adjustments in your lifestyle that will benefit you now and in the future. The lifestyle choices we make are cumulative. Over my lifetime I have experienced choices I have made that are in my favor and those that are not. The cost for those that were not in my favor were not worth it. If I may be of any support to you, please don't hesitate to contact me. The power you possess in impacting the quality of your life is truly a gift! Sending good health and well-being to each of you!