STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a condition in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is often called a silent condition because people do not notice any symptoms until a fracture occurs. Although it is often considered to be a woman’s health concern, 12 million men are at risk for osteoporosis and may have early signs of bone loss and low bone density, or osteopenia. While fragility fractures are less common in men, when they occur, they can be associated with higher rates of disability and death than in women. Common sites for fractures include the hip, spine and wrist. At least one in five men will break a bone because of osteoporosis, and one quarter of the 30,000 hip fractures caused by osteoporosis are in men.


Bone mass peaks during young adulthood. Men usually have more bone mass than women. After this peak is reached, the amount of bone in the skeleton begins to decline because removal of old bone exceeds the formation of new bone. By age 65 or 70 years, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate, and calcium absorption decreases in both sexes. Excessive bone loss makes the bone fragile and more likely to fracture.


Bone density is affected by factors such as physical activity, heredity, sex hormones such as testosterone, diet, lifestyle choices and certain medications. If your doctor thinks you are at risk for osteoporosis,

he may refer you to have a bone mineral density test (BMD), which measures the density of your bones at the hip and spine. This test can identify osteoporosis, determine your risk for fractures and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment. The most widely recognized BMD test is called a central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or central DXA test. It is painless like an X-ray but with much less exposure to radiation. It is common for women to be diagnosed with osteoporosis using a BMD test, often at midlife when doctors begin to watch for signs of bone loss. In men, however, the diagnosis is often not made until a fracture occurs or the man complains of back pain. This makes it essential for men to inform their doctors about risk factors for developing osteoporosis, such as loss of height or change in posture, a fracture or sudden back pain.


There are two main types of osteoporosis: primary and secondary. In cases of primary osteoporosis, either the condition is caused by age-related bone loss (sometimes called senile osteoporosis) or the cause is unknown (idiopathic osteoporosis). Idiopathic osteoporosis is typically used only for men younger than 70 years old; in older men, age-related bone loss is assumed to be the cause. In cases of secondary osteoporosis, certain lifestyle behaviors, diseases or medications cause the loss of bone mass.

OSTEOPOROSIS IS NOT JUST A WOMAN’S HEALTH CONCERN

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Risk factors for osteoporosis in men include:



Lifestyle changes can help treat osteoporosis in men. Exercises such as strength training and brisk walking can benefit the bones. A bit of exposure to the sun will boost the production of vitamin D. Quit smoking – it reduces the density of bone minerals. Drink caffeine and alcohol in moderation. Prevent falls, which are responsible for 90 percent of hip fractures and 50 percent of vertebral fractures in older people. Ensure you are taking enough calcium. Adults need 1,000 mg of calcium daily; men over age 70 years need 1,300 mg. Calcium can be obtained from diet, supplements or both.


Sources and Resources


•  EMedicine Health  (www.emedicinehealth.com)

•  International Osteoporosis Foundation  (www.iofbonehealth.org)

•  National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases  (www.niams.nih.gov)

•  Osteoporosis Canada  (www.osteoporosis.ca)

•  WebMd (www.webmd.com)