Monday, July 4, 2011

4 Inexpensive Ways to Boost Your Orthopedic Health

    The cost of living continues to increase, no doubt. Because of this, I have learned that people should know how to invest their money.  The increase in prices has not spared medical care, especially orthopedic care.  Now, the question is, why do people invest their money in their skills, in physical properties, in education, but still not invest in their health?

The best way to invest in health is really is to focus on the prevention of diseases rather than treatment.  The bottomline is to live a healthy and active lifestyle, and thus boosting your immune system. And this need not be expensive.

Here are 4 cheap ways to boost your orthopedic health

1.      Move

A few years ago, there was a Pinoy joke that goes “Galaw-galaw lang baka ma-stroke!”(Move or you might be a stroke victim). It may be a joke but it has one significant meaning – Move!
I have previously stated that exercise can be beneficial even to arthritic patients. Some are just too lazy to do it. Probably, your best bet to get inspired to exercise is to find an exercise that you enjoy, or that you can incorporate in your daily activities.   

Running and biking has been a craze recently in the country and that’s good because people get to be more active. And with the recent success of our football team, the Azkals (Congrats to the team, by the way, for beating Sri Lanka!), Filipinos are inspired to take up this “new” sport and be active. Just make sure you do stretching before and after these activities (A lot of people forget about the stretching after). 

Personally, I just do walking. It’s the simplest exercise.  And each morning, I also do simple stretching and some dumbbell-lifting in front of the bathroom mirror. Doing weird poses that makes my wife frown while asking me “Dad, what are you doing?”. I tell her I will not win the Mr. Universe award doing this but it would be good enough to tone my muscles and prevent fasciitis in my feet.

 Bottomline, move!

2.       Sunlight

The lack of Vitamin D has been proven to be a cause of some of the major illnesses.

 Vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, or weakening of the bone, and a host of other diseases like diabetes, depression, etc. Mothers know the importance of Vitamin D very well that’s why they expose their babies to the sunlight.  

Better get checked for osteoporosis, especially if you are a woman and menopausal already.

 Get around 30 minutes of sunlight everyday, especially the early morning 7-8AM sun. 

3.      Take deep breaths.

Just like our lungs, our bones are in dire need of oxygen to function properly. 

Remember that most deadly germs can’t live in a highly oxygenated environment. So it is important to be well-oxygenated.
However, I know you will complain that whenever you get out of the streets of Manila, you inhale the mutant-causing, tumor-inducing carbon-monoxide fumes of buses, trucks, tricycles and jeepneys.

Take deep breaths everyday, in a non-polluted area. This may be inside parks, or inside your subdivision. Open you windows and de-stress yourself.

4. Sleep

“What does sleeping have to do with orthopedic health?  I thought you want us to live an active lifestyle?”

There is a lot of connection between orthopedics and sleep. Why?

Because our body has legitimate needs for rest and relaxation as much as it needs activity. Sleep is our bodies’ way of rejuvenation. It is the period when our muscles and soft tissues are repaired and revitalized. Sometimes, though, we’re just too preoccupied dealing with life’s stresses, trying to get out of the rat race, that we sacrifice rest and sleep.

 “But Doc, how do I get enough sleep? How much sleep do I need?”

I think this depends from person to person. When I was a young kid, I was always advised to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Personally, unless I am doing emergency surgery, I usually sleep around 11pm to 12 midnight (after surfing Facebook) and wake up at 6 AM to bring my daughter to school.  Some people can get by with even less sleep, especially our Lolos and Lolas.  You’ll have to find this out for yourself and this usually changes as we age.  But most people will require 8 hours of sleep to be fully restored.

Also, if possible, take short siestas. 

Before, I thought siesta is something only in the culture of Filipinos, brought about by Spanish influence. But there is scientific evidence that human beings may have the inherent tendency to take naps in the early afternoons. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and a growing number of other countries, a short sleep has been referred to as a "power nap", a term coined by Cornell University social psychologist James Maas and recognized by other research scientists such as Sara Mednick.

I recognize that some people may have inherent difficulty in sleeping. At the end of the day, however, I believe that real sleep doesn’t come from sleeping pills or an expensive bed.  It is from having a clear conscience and peace of mind that you have done something worthwhile for the day (like taking charge of your own health).  It gives you an emotional lift, you lessen your stress, and you can sleep properly.

Oh, just in case you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep. Count your blessings!

So friends, invest in your orthopedic health and health in general.  Didn’t you notice that the four things mentioned above—movement, sunlight, deep breathing exercises, and sleep—are free? So who says that orthopedic health is expensive? 
Invest in your orthopedic health!
P.S.  You might notice that I did not say anything about food.  There are certain foods that are good and bad to eat with regards to orthopedic health. However, I think I am not an expert on this yet as I practically eat anything.  If I feel I have not experienced it, I should not speak or write about it =)


Jumbo Biker said...

"Galaw galaw para huwag pumanaw!"

Doc Ralds said...

Hehe. Correct. Thanks for the comment jumbo Biker

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