FUEL FOR THE FIRE: THEM BONES (Osteoporosis)

Occasionally we get serious on here. Not often but sometimes we have to because even though we like to keep things ridiculous on this blog, it’s a harsh world out there. There are a lot of struggles that people face, nations face, or the world at large has to face. So we might from time to time touch on a few things that aren’t TYPED IN CAPS or (hilariously placed into quotes and parentheses) for no reason.

Today we’re going to talk about Osteoporosis, bone density and how to take care of them bones of yours. Why? Well I’ll tell you why.

I got a new client at the gym, who is dealing with Osteoporosis. He’s a great guy and though afflicted with this, he’s got a good attitude. He does his physical therapy work, and has been pretty consistent at coming to the gym (he was training with Jake Grossmen before he left for his new career and was handed off to me, thankfully). So I opted to start doing some research on this to help him out and why not just make a blog post about it?

So what is it? Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone micro-architecture deteriorates, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone are altered. Those with a family history of fracture or osteoporosis are at an increased risk; the heritability of the fracture, as well as low bone mineral density, are relatively high. Our bones are in a constant state of renewal — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass by their early 20s. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it’s created. Even notice how people seem to get shorter as they age? There’s one of your reasons. Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age, though women typically are higher risk in general.

So what are some ways to help yourself from this bone loss? First, the big three! Sitting all day doesn’t help. Alcohol doesn’t help. Smoking does help. These are no-brainers but they have to be stated. Second your diet is extremely important. I’m not a dairy advocate, so we’ll state that the two things you need more than anything are Calcium and Vitamin D. And get these from as many plant sources as possible. Dark leafy green vegetables, like Kale and Spinach. Also broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots and artichokes are excellent. There are plenty of fruits also high in calcium such as oranges and black berries. Also various beans and legumes are high in calcium. Also taking a vitamin D supplement is important as well as natural sunlight. If you live in a doom ‘n’ gloom place like Seattle (as I do) you have to get Vitamin D into your body through as much food as supplements as you can.

What I will say is avoid dairy for your source of calcium. There are far too many studies coming out now for how dairy is linked to various forms of cancer and health issues to where I could suggest it. Aside from how factory farms treat the cows, populations that consume more dairy have higher rates of multiple sclerosis, as well as dairy is often cited as the number one food allergen in the world. So if you can get your Calcium from a plant source, do it.

And with any health issue, go see a doctor. Don’t be that guy or gal who is too proud to get checked out. Catching this health issue early on will help keep you up on a plan to stay healthy and as Metal Made for as long as possible.

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