All posts related to "lifestyle"

Risk factors of osteoporosis

Picture of Milk and BreadOsteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone quality. This results in bones becoming thin and weak, which increases the risk of fracture as they are easy to break. It is known as the “silent thief” because bone loss occurs without any symptoms. In fact, often it is not until someone fractures a wrist, spine, rib, or hip that osteoporosis is suspected (and often it is missed even after a fragility fracture).

As many as two million Canadians have osteoporosis. One in four women, including a third of women aged 60-70 years and two thirds of women aged 80 years and older, will be diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Research shows that weight-bearing exercise, including soccer, is an effective way to reduce the amount of bone loss over time and preserve bone mass, and thus, reduce your likelihood of developing osteoporosis and having a fracture. To prepare for the FIF Women’s World Cup™ this weekend and Father’s Day, #TeamArthritis challenges you to do something that reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis.

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AS it Goes – Ready, Willing, and Able to WYASO

Fran wearing her Vivofit bracelet for WYASO

Fran wearing her Vivofit bracelet

The “Walk Your A.S. Off” (WYASO) campaign is gearing up for another year with April designated as training month and May 1st as the official kickoff of the campaign. The goal of WYASO is to promote awareness of spondylitis (and the family of related diseases) and to encourage people to become more active, specifically through keeping track of their daily steps or other physical activities. Continue reading

AS it Goes – We are ALL Arthritis Athletes

Arthritis athletes

Courtesy of Vlado |

The litany of famous athletes who suffer from various types of arthritis is long: golfers, cyclists, figure skaters, baseball stars, downhill skiers … you get the idea. There are countless athletes performing and competing at world-class levels in every imaginable sport. They do it all despite their arthritis and many have become high-profile and public supporters for their form of arthritis.

These athletes have found a way to compete at the highest echelon of their sport even as they suffer from the effects of arthritis. They do it with the aid of sports psychologists (keep attitudes positive), physiotherapists (keep joints limber), coaches (keep on the game), trainers (keep in top physical shape), medical personnel (keep tweaking meds), and maybe a financial advisor and a business agent too. On the other hand, we mere mortals must play all those roles (and more) by ourselves and all at the same time. The team behind us is far less comprehensive: probably a medical doc (rheumatologist) and then a bunch of friends and family cheering us on from the sidelines.

We are all arthritis athletes

Courtesy of lamnee |

In recent years, arthritis research and advocacy organizations have made important inroads in creating public awareness about the many types of arthritis (and related inflammatory diseases). However, I think that there’s nothing like an athlete’s star power to help focus attention on arthritis, which until recently was not understood or even considered a “serious” disease by many health professionals.

Athletes are terrific ambassadors for spreading the word about arthritis; their personal stories provide comfort and inspiration about how they cope with their condition during their sports careers. They possess the ideal public platform to get out the message about arthritis’ deleterious impact on millions of lives. In bringing awareness to the seriousness of the disease, they also help to direct more dollars towards research and ultimately, a cure.

Fran HalterPersonally, we all deserve to consider ourselves as winners. Every day, we haul our pain around with us, we cope with hurting joints and aches, and the secondary effects created by various medications, including fatigue and depression. Unlike high-performing athletes, we do this without the benefit of a team of medical and/or health professionals. We participate as best we can in the “game” of life; we find our personal motivation and encouragement to keep moving. We may not run marathons, bolt down ski slopes at breakneck speeds, or drive a golf ball 300 yards, but we are all arthritis athletes in our own right. ~Fran

AS it Goes – The Debate over NSAIDs

Pain relief (and NSAIDs)

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici |

The long-term usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) has always concerned me. Through the years I have taken different types of NSAIDs for varying periods. These NSAIDs even included (for a short time) VIOXX, which was pulled off the shelves in 2004 after studies confirmed that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. For many years I have taken diclofenac, which now researchers also believe carries a high cardiovascular risk, especially for people with a history of heart disease or other risk factors such as diabetes or high cholesterol. Continue reading

AS it Goes – Participation: A Way to Be Heard

Participation: A Way to Be Heard

Image courtesy of Ambro at

I am not an Arthritis Superhero. I don’t work at one of Canada’s best workplaces for employees living with arthritis. I didn’t participate the annual World Arthritis Day in any special way other than my daily dog walk. I don’t produce videos on living with arthritis to win international acclaim. Nor have I ever been nominated or honoured for any outstanding community leadership in the arthritis field—nor do I expect to be recognized.

What I am is one of the 4.6 million men, women and children diagnosed with arthritis, who soldier along as we cope with our maladies and pains as best as we can. While all of the above mentioned “happenings” connected with increasing arthritis awareness create an all-important public buzz, the rest of us mortals are left trying to figure how to climb a flight of stairs, or twist off the top from a jam jar, or find a comfortable sleeping position. In other words, it’s all about our personal struggle on a daily basis to get through the day (and night) in a positive way, and then try to repeat it over and over again . . . Continue reading

Baby boomers over 65 are reinventing old age

Senior couple sitting at the parkJust in time for National Seniors Day in Canada on Wednesday, October 1, Paul Luke of The Province wrote a feature article titled “Over 65 and going strong: Baby Boomers are reinventing old age”. In the article, he talks about the following themes:

  • Baby boomers’ perception of physical appearance;
  • Baby boomers are the richest and healthiest generation;
  • Seniors in the workforce;
  • Good health in seniors;
  • Statistics on the numbers of seniors in Canada; and,
  • The road ahead.

Please find below a summary of each section.

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