It was just like any other run around the Votee Park track in Teaneck, NJ, the weather was nice, the ground was clean, and the other runners and walkers were as pleasant as can be. This time however, something bothered me which I never took much notice of earlier – the elderly gentleman and women who I ran past appeared to be, as hard as it may seem to believe, shrinking. At 6’1”, it may seem reasonable for me to perceive others who are shorter than I as shrunken, but these people didn’t even hit the five foot mark. They were absolutely minute, and it didn’t make sense to me that so many people could have been this small their entire lives.
After doing some initial research on the topic, I realized that what these individuals were suffering from was osteoporosis. As defined by the Journal of sports and medical fitness, “osteoporosis is a multifactorial progressive skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone mass which predisposes to increased fracture risk.” In layman’s terms, osteoporosis is the loss of bone matter, which usually occurs as a person progresses through life. When I first read about the chronic disease, the question that popped into my mind was: How in the world do I prevent such a disease? I like being tall.
There are many theories about how to prevent such a shrinkage and possible fractures to your bones, but which one, or ones, are the correct path that should be chosen? I can up my daily calcium intake, cut down on the amount of alcohol I consume, finally kick the cigarettes to the curb, pick up swimming, run marathons, or become a physical trainer – an expert in the field of weight training. At the moment, I lift weights two or three times a week, run five or six, and have a bowl of milk every morning. I must know if I should be focusing on a particular activity more than another one, and if I should be ignoring any all together.
To better my understanding of the epidemic overtaking our elderly population which is osteoporosis, I will first have to pursue information regarding the disease itself. The Journal of Physical Education and the Journal of Sports Medicine and physical fitness have an abundant amount of information on the topic. After I gain a deeper knowledge of the illness, I will slowly unravel the mess of theories and proven statements to find what it is I’m looking for: the best possible singular or combination of practices to prevent osteoporosis.
Being a wrestler for the past six years, my physical health has always been a priority for me, ever since the eighth grade. By reading the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical fitness, I have given myself a basic understanding of osteoporosis, and a few ways one can deter the sickness. My lifestyle is an active one, and if being active alone is the best way to prevent osteoporosis, then all I have to do is continue on my current path. But if a dietary modification is in order, then I would rather find out now, towards the end of my adolescence then thirty or forty years down the line, when it will, assumedly, be more difficult to prevent.