We have heard it way too many times, sometimes to the point where many folks probably just tune it all out. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can help you to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis, most notably in the hips and knees. Exercise contributes to bone density, improves the strength of the muscles, and enhances balance. Through regular walking, strength training, swimming, dancing, gardening and other low-impact activities, you can be well on your way to healthy bones and joints.
My soon-to-be 106-year-old grandma is a good case study for this. I spoke with her the other day about her health and why she thinks the Good Lord has kept her alive for so long.
“You know,” she began, “even the doctors are stumped. I go for check-ups, they do tests, they draw blood, they take my pulse – and then they say there is not a dang thing wrong with me. Nothing.”
Even after experiencing a few falls in the past couple of years, Grandma has never broken a bone or even sustained the slightest fracture. I swear she is a medical anomaly. She swears it is just all of the exercise she has done her whole life, and she is quick to point out that everyone should be working out.
She recently moved from her small town in Kansas to Houston, Texas, to be near her youngest son, a medical doctor at Baylor. She is not in a nursing home (and if she was, she would be the one pushing those “seniors” around in their wheel chairs!), but she does live in a complex of apartments in an assisted living environment. Part of her daily routine is to have someone come in and help her to exercise. She just laughs.
“They call that exercise?” she mocks. “All they do is have me roll my arms around this way and that and then roll my legs this way and that. I can get more exercise walking to the kitchen and back.”
Of course, a healthy diet is necessary, as well.