If your goal is to live life with quality in your years, there is much you can do to improve your odds. Osteoporosis is a disease that progresses silently, and with no intervention, will claim one out of two White women in the U.S. Fractures of the spine, shoulder, or hip are common, and especially serious in older people. Fortunately, you have some control over osteoporosis with medications, nutrient supplementation, diet, and lifestyle choices such as exercise and limiting consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

According to Dr. Paul Howard, a rheumatologist practicing here in Scottsdale, AZ, “You need to know and act on your risk. Family history, a broken hip, or curvature of the spine should put you on alert. Ask your doctor when to start bone-density or other interventions.” Older people and women are at the greatest risk, but no one is immune. Smoking and heavy alcohol use decrease bone density. “This is also one time when you shouldn’t be too skinny,” Dr. Howard says. “If your body mass index is less than 18, that puts you at a higher risk of osteoporosis.”

Keep moving: weight-bearing exercises are best-walking, jogging, dance, weight training, hiking, and yoga are good choices. Food sources of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are best, and supplements are available. When taking calcium, take 500 mg three times per day (the body can’t absorb more than that at once), and 2000 IU’s of vitamin D daily. Carbonated sodas decrease bone mineral, so limit your intake to no more than one per day.

The Baby Boom generation is a health disaster in the making. One third are obese and another third are overweight. Forget about getting Alzheimer’s (pun intended), say hello to diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It’s a sad situation because it is totally preventable. Too much of the wrong kind of food (processed, refined carbs), and too little activity. My goal is to help as many people realize this problem and solution AND act on it. Please, take more of an active role in YOUR life.

Almost everyone I know that participates in exercise agrees that it makes them happy and calm. New research indicates that those who engage in any exercise, even a small amount, reported improved mental health compared with people who never exercise. Exercise was especially effective at reducing feelings of irritability. Animal studies have determined that neurons in the prefrontal cortex, an area involved in emotional processing in animals and people, had been firing often and rapidly, as had neurons in other, linked parts of the brain, including the amygdala, which is known to handle feelings of fear and anxiety.

I think that’s another reason to get moving.

My wife and son are heading to L.A. on Friday. Alex has four appointments set up with acting agents/agencies, a golden opportunity for him. Tomorrow, he has an audition for a TV commercial, a public service announcement on the dangers of smoking. The world is truly his oyster right now.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.