Feel it in your bones!

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It’s an ISCA lesson on bones and muscle

It was a truly spellbinding session. The monthly meet of the Indian Senior Citizens Association (ISCA) picked a topic of discussion significant to us all – bones and muscles. Two experts were on hand to educate us and answer our questions, Dr Ram Nadathur of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Nathan Elijah, an Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Consultant.

Bone Health.Indian Link

Via the power-point projection, various colour charts and bone structure models, the two competently highlighted the necessity of nourishing our bones and muscles, especially those of thigh and calf, plus associated joints, and particularly for seniors, via the path of a sensible diet and regular exercise schedule. Through various slides, they detailed how bones store minerals in the shape of marrow, muscles, blood cells and phosphorous, the lack of which may cause diseases such as osteoporosis, rickets, muscle cramps, etc.

The human body possesses the natural ability to repair the damage already done to bones and muscles, Dr Nadathur said. We seniors must recognise how to assist that natural ability, which may be attained by a sensible and consistent diet and exercise schedule. If the diet is poor, or we are lazy, and/or our intake of water is insufficient, disease attacks bones and muscles. Do not lose weight, we were advised, for at our age losing weight indicates that our muscles have given up. He used an old adage: use it, or lose it! Do not gain weight either, so as to keep diabetes and arthritis at bay. When one member asked how she can exercise when she is old and frail, Dr Nadathur quoted another adage: You do not exercise because you are old. You are old because you do not exercise!

Mr Elijah outlined how the bodies of all animals except human bodies have the natural ability to make their own Vitamin C. Hence, Vitamin C supplements, especially during old age, become necessary. However, we should consult a medical practitioner to monitor the dosage as excess Vitamin C can be just as harmful to human bodies as a deficiency. He advised us to ask our GP to conduct a complete blood count, kidney function, lipids, PTH, thyroid, and bone density studies, and prescribe necessary supplements.

Bone Health.Indian Link

Yet, both reiterated that a regular exercise and diet schedule is a must to maintain. Take up aerobics, if possible. Try alpine walking sticks, which maintain a balance of weight between the body and the muscles.

Get an activity tracker, Dr Nadathur suggested, showing us the one he uses at work.

Mr Elijah advised us to eat lots of green chillies, the effect of which engenders heavy breathing. “Walk bare foot,” he also reiterated, “So you may maintain constant contact with Mother Earth!”

Although Dr Nadathur had returned from work at 2:30am, and was to report back in a few hours, the question and answer session that followed simply refused to end.

President Dinesh Sood gave us the good news that for the following three months, these two experts have very kindly agreed to answer ISCA members’ questions in the Friday program.

Dr Nadathur and Mr Elijah may be contacted on 03 9408 0337, or iprc@optusnet.com.au.