A simple thing like walking can extend independent living. It has been stressed over and over again that walking can help reduce weight without stringent diets or over-zealous exercise routines, but walking is being shown in recent studies to reduce the risk of falling and of fracturing hips.
Weight bearing exercise, such as walking, but also jogging, tai chi, hiking, dancing, climbing stairs, and even swimming, can slow bone density loss in the hip area. Thus the possibility of fracture is lowered because bones are strengthened.
Women seem to be especially prone to bone loss, because of the body changes associated with menopause. This bone degeneration is called osteoporosis. Older men, also, can have thinning of the bones. People of both genders are then at risk for fractures of the wrist, spine and hip because of falls.
Here’s how to prevent bone fractures, especially of the hip:
Moderate exercise not only keeps bones healthy but strengthens muscles that help maintain balance.
Regular eye exams
Getting regular eye exams means that your sight will help you prevent those mis-steps and trips that can be so hurtful and damaging.
Most falls occur at home. Remove clutter from the floors, especially slippery throw rugs. Keep electrical cords against walls. Make sure every walk through area is well-lit. It’s a good idea at some time in your life to have grab bars installed in the bathrooms.
Be aware of medications you take which may cause dizziness. Speak to your doctor about this.
Don’t smoke or drink
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can be strong factors to weaken bones.
Most hip fractures result not only in surgery or extended rehabilitation but, more importantly, a critical change in lifestyle can result. Many people who have enjoyed independent living must rely on help from others after a fall and/or fracture. It’s certainly worth taking the time to be informed, take precautions, and…yes…start walking.
Written by: Ruby Holder Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer