Strengthening bones

Pilates practitioners

Last Minute we talked about bones and being mindful of building them when you’re young!

While my field is nutrition and diet, my first thought in maintaining strong bones, post-30, is actually EXERCISE!

Specific exercise recommendations should come from an expert in that field (exercise physiologist, physical therapist, kinesiology specialist, occupational physiologist, orthopedist, sports medicine specialist for example). Know there is a distinct difference in what you should and shouldn’t do for bones if you have osteoporosis.

But, in general – be as active as you can.

Weight bearing exercise (in the person without osteoporosis) is critical. WebMD suggests:

  • brisk walking
  • climbing stairs
  • dancing
  • hiking
  • jogging
  • jumping rope
  • step aerobics
  • tennis/racquet sports
  • yard work

OK, that last one sounds like work, but you get the picture. If your feet touch the ground, the exercise is weight bearing.

The person with osteopenia and osteoporosis should focus on non-jarring, bone-rattling activity. And as joints begin to age, we tend to enjoy “easier” workouts  – biking and swimming come to mind.

Flexibility, improved core strength and stability, and better balance are benefits of Pilates which I practice because of the ease on the knees! I’ve added Sun Style Tai Chi (instructor Alan says it’s meditation in motion) which similarly focuses on proper body alignment, deep breathing, fall prevention, flexibility and agility.

Whatever your exercise routine, if you’re like me, you can and should do more. Bones need to move to be well,


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Do something different

If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got!

Many people attribute this quote to Anthony Robbins and before him Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and even Mark Twain. Regardless of the origin, what matters is the point.  If you want to change the end result, you need to change the way you do things.

We can apply that to our diet and consequently our health, right?

If you’re not quite satisfied with your blood sugar, your blood pressure, your blood cholesterol, your weight…think about spending the next week asking yourself why are you eating the way you always have expecting a different result?

I had to  order dessert because I have a sweet tooth. I had to salt my food before tasting it because the salt shaker is sitting right in front of me. I’ve always had a high cholesterol reading because it runs in my family. I can’t lose the five pounds that are aggravating my arthritic knees because I can’t exercise.

Anything sound familiar? Seriously, take a moment to answer: Who owns that tooth? Who plopped the salt shaker down? Who selects my diet and the follow up cholesterol checks? Is their an activity in which I could participate?

Get serious, do something you haven’t done before to get a different result…to be well,


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