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National Osteoporosis Foundation Offers Free Opportunities to Learn about Bone Health

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In all honesty, I have never really thought too much about my bone health, but not because I did not care. It has stemmed more from the fact that I have always been meticulous about my overall health in general. I have been fortunate in that I have never broken a bone (except for that crash landing in the bathroom when I hydroplaned barefooted across a puddle of water one busy morning…the disjointed second toe on my left foot is a constant reminder of that event!) I have exercised regularly since the age of 10 and usually only miss about two or three days of workouts every four or five years. I make sure to eat as healthily as I can (provided I am not running to various afternoon and evening events for three young boys, and McDonald’s is a convenient drive-through option!) I am also witness to a 105-year-old lady who has served as my role model over the years. Not once, despite a few recent falls, has that gal ever broken a bone, and when I recently asked her why she thought that was so, she merely responded, “Exercise. Every day. And start young.” That explains why the week-long visits to Grandma’s house each summer when I was young were more reminiscent of a rigorous boot camp for Marines than vacation time. I am so grateful to her for those days. My bones probably would not be as healthy as they are today without her continued motivation, inspiration, and threats of “no breakfast until we complete our 10-mile bicycle ride to the lake and back!”

Needless to say, I am excited that May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month! In recognition of this exciting time, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is launching its new Healthy Bones, Build Them for Life campaign. What a great idea! (Note to self: Call Grandma and let her know how she can still maintain optimum bone health! You are never too old to start, either!)

If you have not done so already, right now is the perfect time to expand your knowledge on your bone health. If you want to know exactly how strong your bones really are, you can sign up for a free webinar at http://www.nof.org/noapm. This is the first in a series of exciting and educational webinars available to the general public that will cover a wide range of osteoporosis-related topics. You will not want to miss out on these…especially if you want to be like Grandma who can, at 105, still pull herself in and out of an SUV without assistance (and I have the video to prove it!)

Take advantage of the informational brochures offered by the National Osteoporosis Foundation. On the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s web site, you can obtain a free copy of “Boning Up on Osteoporosis: A Guide to Prevention and Treatment.” Go further and discover the strength of your bones in the educational guide “How Strong Are Your Bones?” The site also offers a guide on osteoporosis medicines. To receive all of this invaluable information, all you have to do is request the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s FREE Osteoporosis Education Toolkit by visiting them at http://www.nof.org/response_form/contacts.asp and simply complete the online form. After you accept the terms of the disclaimer and privacy statement at the top of the page, select “Health Information and Education Requests” in the Question Department menu located at the bottom of the page. Type in “Free Osteoporosis Education Toolkit” in the Question field and within a couple of weeks, your request will be processed. Your bones will thank you later! (I will, however, congratulate you here for taking the first step towards improved bone health!)

You can also be a part of the “Walk, Jog, or Run Your Way to Healthier Bones” through the Steps for Strong Bones, a fundraising and walking program that runs from May 2010 – October 2010. You can join for free. Then ask your friends and family to support you in the cause! Ask them to make a donation to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. You can track these through your own personal online fundraising page. You can also monitor your daily activities and your progress. You will even receive tasty recipes and tips for improved bone health. If you want to take those first steps towards healthier bones for life, just log on to www.nof.org/steps.

If you are really passionate about this terrific cause, then join the Healthy Bones Advocacy Network. This network is comprised of volunteer advocates who reach out to policy makers to show them how important good bone health is and to request their assistance in advancing the public policy goals of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. If you want to make a difference and bring about positive change, you can learn more about this Advocacy program at www.nof.org/advocacy.

No matter what you decide to do in honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, the best rule of thumb is to recognize that being aware of your bone health should be more than just a month-long celebration. It should be a life-long endeavor. (And may you one day find yourself on a cruise ship at 105 years of age with your family around you, enjoying the sun and surf, reminding your now aged 46 granddaughter that there is still time yet for a quick run on the treadmill before breakfast! Do they host Boot Camps on cruise ships?)

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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