Fall time is a glorious time of year in New England. People take to the roads for weekend drives to ooooh and aaaah over the changing leaves. It is also a perfect time to review how to prevent a fall that could sideline your exercise and airway clearance.
Many of us with bronchiectasis also have osteoporosis because of age, body type and steroid use. The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation characterizes osteoporosis as bone disease that occurs when “the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.”
If you haven’t already, speak with your doctor about having a Bone Mineral Density Test. If you have osteoporosis or are on your way to developing the condition, there are steps you can take to slow progression or even prevent it. Most importantly is to “do no harm.” What do I mean by this?
Firstly, prevent falls that can cause breaks. The best way to achieve this is by improving your strength, balance and flexibility. In my book, “The BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis,” I give 10 exercises that take this holistic approach. As a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor, I created the Bronchi-X-ercise Program that over time, can help you prevent falls.
Secondly, take a look around your home and remove items that you might trip on such as scatter rugs and extension cords. Also installing nightlights to light your way to nighttime visits to the kitchen and bathroom is a good idea.
Thirdly, exercise safely by eliminating exercise that include rounding your spine (abdominal crunches and many Pilates movements) and deep twisting (yoga spinal twists).
So, have fun on your fall-time drives and walks. Being aware of wet leaves and slippery sidewalks when out in nature doesn’t mean you need to avoid the outdoors. It means being pro-active by building a stronger and more agile body.
#bronchiectasis #copd #spine #spinehealth #osteoporosis
Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.