Friday, March 22, 2013

Fit Friday

The next time someone says you are dense, take it as a compliment… as long as they’re referring to your bones, that is!  Did you know that for the 8 million wild women over age 50 who have osteoporosis, the fear of breaking a bone is a daily reality?  It causes two million bone breaks every year! 

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, bones become weak and can break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.  Your bones are made up of three major components that make them both flexible and strong:

·        Collagen, a protein that gives bones a flexible framework
·         Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes that make bones hard and strong
·         Living bone cells that remove and replace weakened sections of bone

After you reach peak bone mass, the balance between bone formation and bone loss might start to change. In other words, you may start to slowly lose more bone than you form. In midlife, bone loss usually speeds up in both men and women. For most women, bone loss increases after menopause, when estrogen levels drop sharply. In fact, in the five to seven years after menopause, women can lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density.

·         Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
·         Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
·         A woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

There are multiple reasons why women are more like to get osteoporosis than men, including:

·         Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
·         Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.

Here are some factors that can increase your risk:

·         You have a family history of osteoporosis
·         You’ve had a low-impact fracture
·         You were treated for at least 3 months with oral steroids
·         You have a bone-robbing disease like rheumatoid arthritis
·         You had an early or abrupt menopause
·         You consume 4 or more cups of coffee a day or more than one drink a day
·         You smoke

This is a very near and dear subject to my own heart, wild women friends, because I have osteoporosis in my lower back and hip.  I’m in the higher risk category to begin with, and had a hysterectomy at a young age.  So I’m fighting this every step of the way.  How?  Here are some recommendation published by Prevention Magazine:

Take Calcium, Vitamin D and Protein
·         What You Need: 1,000 mg a day of calcium for women 19-50; 1,200 mg a day for women over 50
·         Where To Get It: Dairy products; canned sardines and salmon; cheddar cheese; tofu
·         What You Need: 600 IU daily of Vitamin D for people ages 1 to 70; 800 IU daily for those above age 70
·         Where To Get It: Dairy products; salmon and mackerel; egg yolks; D-fortified breakfast cereals.
·         What You Need: Up to 77 g a day of Protein for a 154 pound woman
·         Where To Get It: Poultry; lean meats; fish; beans; tofu; fat-free or low-fat dairy products

Get Tested:  The gold standard of bone tests is called DXA, which measures bone density in the hip and spine. A score of 0 is normal; anywhere from –1 to –2.5 points to osteopenia; –2.6 or below is a diagnosis of full-blown osteoporosis. Unless you’re at high risk, you can wait till age 65 to first have the procedure.

There are various medications in the marketplace to treat osteoporosis as well, and you can find information on them at the National Osteoporosis Foundation at:

Of course, ALWAYS ALWAYS check with your doctor first before taking any kind of medication (even over the counter products) and before beginning any exercise program. 

In addition to eating healthy foods and making sure I get enough calcium, Vitamin D and protein, I do weight-bearing exercises that help by exercising, I strengthen muscles and stronger muscles also help protect my bones.

These types of activities are often recommended for people with osteoporosis:
·         Strength training exercises, especially those for the back
·         Weight-bearing aerobic activities
·         Flexibility exercises
·         Stability and balance exercises

The Mayo Clinic recommends NOT DOING these exercises:

·         High-impact exercises, such as jumping, running or jogging. These activities increase compression in your spine and lower extremities and can lead to fractures in weakened bones. Avoid jerky, rapid movements in general. Choose exercises with slow, controlled movements.
·         Exercises in which you bend forward and twist your waist, such as touching your toes or doing sit-ups. These movements put pressure on the bones in your spine, increasing your risk of compression fractures. Other activities that may require you to bend or twist forcefully at the waist are golf, tennis, bowling and some yoga poses.

As a certified Pilates and Pilates Reformer instructor, I love doing Pilates to help me stay bone-healthy!  Here are a few links that discuss pilates and bone health:

And here’s a new site I found that encourages mini-wild women (i.e., girls) to start early to build and maintain healthy bones:

Are you taking measures to ensure that you have the best bones possible? Exercise your skeleton beginning today, and find a program that will keep you strong and healthy for life!


Coach Linda


National Osteoporosis Foundation:

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center:

Copyright 2013, "Coach Linda Bush" All Rights Reserved. The materials contained on this website are provided for general information only and do not constitute any form of medical or health care advice. We assume no responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement and accept no liability for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on the information contained on this site. Links to other websites from these pages are for information only and we accept no responsibility or liability for access to or the material on any website which is linked from or to this website. 

1 comment:

  1. Buy Herbal Care Products online. We provide Natural Herbal Remedies, health and skin diseases information. Natural herbal products use men and women without side effects.