I’ve never had health worries and I hadn’t been concerned about my health until my mother developed rheumatoid arthritis 30 years ago. After seeing her cope with this incurable disease I started to be interested in all possible remedies which might bring her relief from constant pain. I was living in Canada at the time and I found a lot of literature on my mother’s illness and also on osteoporosis.

Danuta Pauk, PolandBoth diseases concern me and I decided to make my bones as strong as possible. More than 20 years ago I became aware of impact of a balanced diet on my bones and I made the decision to pay more attention to what I ate. I have always liked dairy foods – plenty of cheese, milk and yogurt were my staple and favorite foods – so for me it wasn’t too difficult. I realized that I needed more fish, vegetables and fruit, which I introduced onto my plate without the least problem. The only novelty was a calcium and vitamin D supplement, easily available in Canada and which I have been taking for twenty years now. Once I took up these habits they became easy to follow.

After coming back to Poland in 1991 I broke my leg in an accident. At the hospital I met a woman suffering from osteoporosis. Her case was exceptionally severe as practically any uncontrolled movement would result in a fracture. This convinced me that taking care of my bones health was not such a far-fetched idea.

Now I am 53 years old and my latest bone density test has proved that my bones are in a pretty good shape. I still follow the diet including lots of dairy products, fish, fruit and vegetables and I take a calcium and vitamin D supplement. Although I don’t play a sport regularly, I know that any form of weight bearing physical activity is good for me, so I walk whenever I can. I don’t have a car and I do not intend to get one. When on holidays, whether I go to the mountains or visit towns, I cover long distances on foot. I work flexible hours so I try to arrange my everyday schedule to have enough time for a walk. I avoid using public transport as much as possible. I think that taking care of my bones is not a burden at all. It is just a matter of some knowledge and observing some healthy lifestyle rules.
I am sure it pays.

Here’s what I suggest: Know your risk factors and enjoy a portion of yogurt, salads, fish and fruit every day. Do not forget about a calcium and vitamin D supplement. Walk as much as possible whatever the weather is. It will give you energy and will let you see the changing seasons.

You will see that going somewhere on foot does not take much more time than traveling by bus or car. The benefits are obvious – better health and the prospect of being fit even in older age. And it all depends on you.

Read more stories of people with osteoporosis.