Our Countdown To Bone And Joint Health In 2015

With 2015 in sight, we are thinking about the best tips we can suggest to help you protect your bone health and prevent bone and joint injuries.

 

 

The year is coming to a close, prompting many of us to reflect on what we’d like to do differently and what we’d like to do better as we begin 2015. As you set resolutions for aspirations and dreams, we know that orthopedic challenges can have a huge impact on your ability to pursue your aspirations and enjoy the dreams that come true for you.

We want to see our patients and our Twin Cities community enjoy a healthy, active, and injury-free 2015. Our colleagues in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have created a list of ten resolutions you can make to keep your bones and joints in optimal condition and help you avoid the risks that most frequently lead to injury. Adapt one of these resolutions or all of them: every one of them will pay preventative benefits in improved health and safety.

Here are the first five resolutions in the AAOS end-of-year countdown:

Resolution #10: Follow safe knife rules in the kitchen. Whether you are cutting vegetables or carving a roast, always cut away from yourself. Make sure your body and your hands are not exposed to the blade, and use a utensil—not your hand—to stabilize food as you carve. One moment of inattention can result in a serious injury.

Resolution #9: Warm up before you jump into the game. When you take the time to get your blood moving, raise muscle temperature, and increase your breathing rate, you are preparing your body for more strenuous activity. A warm up helps your body respond to higher physical demands and can improve your performance. If you are new to the demands of an exercise program, spend more time warming up to help you body adjust.

Resolution #8: Check your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is the conduit that enables us to absorb the calcium our bones need. Our body needs about 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day from sunlight or diet. During Minnesota winters, getting enough Vitamin D from the sun can be a challenge. Get a blood test to monitor your Vitamin D level, and take a supplement if your level is low.

Resolution #7: Make weight-bearing exercise part of your routine. No matter our age, we need weight-bearing exercise to maintain strong bones. Some of the activities in the weight-bearing category may surprise you. Brisk walking, hiking, or jogging are good choices, but so are dancing, step aerobics and racquet sports. Skating, karate, and bowling count. And of course regular sessions of weight training with free weights or machines will get the job done too.

Resolution #6: Avoid climbing ladders. We treat too many serious injuries caused by falls from a ladder. If you must use one to clean windows or reach items on a high shelf, make sure you are familiar with the AAOS ladder safety guidelines. Keep your ladder in good repair, use it on a level surface, climb in clean shoes with rubber soles, don’t stand on the top rung, and grip the rails with both hands while you climb.

Check back later this week for five more resolutions that will protect bone and joint safety.

 

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