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How to live longer without breaking a hip

Many serious health conditions can be prevented by taking a few steps to take care of yourself.
/ Source: TODAY

There’s a reason why my co-author Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic and I called our book "AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out Of Money Or Breaking A Hip."

Breaking a hip is no small issue.

There is an increased risk of death following a hip fracture, and (surprise) it’s two times greater in men than in women. Male or female, breaking a hip triggers a chain of aging-related events. When you’re bedridden, you become weaker and more susceptible to infections. With less exercise, your arteries become less elastic and more prone to injury. Your immune system becomes more vulnerable to dangerous diseases and infections.

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What can you do to avoid going down that slippery slope? Millions of Americans either have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, so when it comes to (not) breaking a hip specifically, here are a few tips:

1. Incorporate jumping into your exercise routine.

20 jumps, twice a day seems to do the trick.

2. Choose calcium and leafy greens.

Aim for 1,500 milligrams a day in foods and supplements.

3. Consider adding a vitamin D3 supplement.

1,000 IU if you’re under 60, 1,200 if you’re older.

4. Stretch regularly.

Stretching will give you the ability to maneuver yourself during a fall or get yourself up after a fall.

Most importantly, focus on staying healthy. Most of the money we spend on healthcare goes to taking care of chronic conditions like diabetes. Many of those conditions can be avoided by steering clear of toxins (like tobacco); incorporating 10,000 steps a day and regular cardio and weight training into your routine; choosing foods you love that love you back (fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats); and reducing stress.

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Stress is, by far, the biggest ager — and the primary source of stress is financial troubles. Since caveman days, we’ve known there are three physiological reactions to stress: fight (you eat the woolly mammoth before it eats you), flight (you run away or otherwise escape) or freeze (you play dead). With financial and health problems, escaping — trying to meditate or deep breathe away your stress — doesn’t work, and playing dead or doing nothing can be disastrous (bills don’t get paid). You have to fight back. Figure out what your issue is, whether it’s credit card debt or high cholesterol, and tackle it with a plan.

Making sure you’ve got a game plan for paying for the rising cost of healthcare can help alleviate stress as well. These days, it’s acceptable to negotiate with your doctor or hospital to bring costs down. Here’s how.

1. Consult a resource like the

This site can help you figure out how much that procedure or service should cost. Then call your doctor or the hospital and tell them you’d like to use their services, but your insurance only pays so much and that you know it’s offered at a lower price (name it if you can) elsewhere. Many doctors and hospitals will try to work with you.

2. Shop for health insurance during open enrollment period.

Look for a plan where the doctors and hospitals you are most likely to want to use are in-network. A 2015 study by the AHIP Center for Policy and Research found the average out-of-network charges for the majority of 97 medical procedures examined “were 300 percent or higher compared to the corresponding Medicare fees” for the same services.

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3. Don’t let cost get in the way of preventative care.

It's like changing the oil in your car. You may avoid doing it because you want to save some money, but it’s going to cost you a lot more in the long run. And this is not just for your doctor, it’s true for your dentist, too.

For more advice from Jean, check out her website and subscribe to her podcast, HerMoney with Jean Chatzky.