email@example.com | 757-247-4784
There are things that everyone can do to delay the effects of aging on the musculoskeletal system. The message from Riverside physiatrist Renee Moss, MD, as part of a breakfast lecture series tied to the "Bodies Revealed" exhibition at the Virginia Living Museum, was that while wear and tear on the body is inevitable over a lifetime, good nutrition and plenty of exercise are the keys to maintaining good health. "Food comes first and the more we move, the more we stay healthy," she repeated.
Her free talk, "Muscle, Bone and Joint Health: Natural Options for Healthy Aging," delivered to a crowd of about 100 in the museum basement on Tuesday, urged attendees to take charge of their health.
She outlined three disease processes that occur as part of aging — sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, and osteoarthritis, the degeneration of joint cartilage. In each instance, she outlined the age-related decline and its accelerants, and then gave explicit tips on how to slow the process.
Moss urged resistance activities, such as lifting weights and using resistance bands, as a way to slow muscle loss or to rebuild muscle; she counseled the consumption of dark green vegetables for calcium to slow bone loss and skin-on fish, fish oil and specific supplements for osteoarthritis. "Food is our medicine," she said, explaining the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet and noting that the nutrient density of foods and their nutritional composition have changed over the decades.
The director of Riverside's Rehabilitation Institute, Moss detailed what to look for in supplements, explaining, for example, that the EPA and DHA numbers on the back of fish oils are the telling measures for Omega 3 fats. She advised that calcium always comes in a combination and that citrate is the easiest to take at any time.
Levi West, with a group of massage therapy students from Centura College, was interested to learn about the importance of calcium and ways in which its absorption might be hindered. With a background in holistic health, instructor Lindsay Heck liked hearing a physician emphasize the importance of food and nutrition — and not just medications — in health care.
After the talk, some attendees went through the "Bodies Revealed" exhibit where Moss and several other physicians were on hand to answer their questions. Gloucester resident Sandra Spencer, 64, hasn't missed a lecture in the series. "You can get to speak to the specialist and get your questions answered," said Spencer, who has high blood pressure and diabetes. "I'm inspired to do more to help myself."
Both Spencer and Madonna Brink, 71, take the vitamin D and calcium supplements recommended by Moss. After the talk, both resolved to resume taking fish oil after learning again of its benefits. "It's an easy thing to add back," said Brink.
Looking around the exhibit, Robert Winfield, a physiatrist, commended the massage therapist students for their knowledge and enthusiasm. "This is like med school, but they can see it without the dissection and smelling like formaldehyde," he said. A specialist in pain management, he added, "I'd lose at least 30 percent of my business if people exercised and ate the way they should."
Free health talk
Throughout July, Riverside physicians have presented a series of talks in conjunction with the "Bodies Revealed" exhibition at the Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Newport News.
• The final talk, "Lungs for Life: How to Care for your Lungs throughout the Decades," by pulmonologist John Perry, MD, is from 8 – 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 30;
• The lecture is free; continental breakfast available for $2 donation; tour of the exhibition "Bodies Revealed" is $7 VLM members; $15 non-members (does not include museum admission). Physicians will be available to answer questions.
• To register in advance, call 757-595-9135, or online, http://www.thevlm.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun