Osteoporosis: What Does Buying A Purse Have To Do With It?

We all have a lot to lose if we take a serious fall. Assuming we survive, the effects can be life altering. And if you have osteoporosis, what would have been a minor slip and fall for others, could have devastating consequences for you. Here’s a fall prevention video that should be of interest to anyone interested in staying upright.

Osteoporosis Fall Prevention Video

There’s a story that prompted me to post this video and write this article. Here it is.

OsteoporosisI have a friend who had been eyeballing this cute little red purse for a couple of months.  She didn’t need it but she wanted it and sort of became obsessed with it.

She’d visit it online and wave to it in the store. But, there’s no way she was going to buy that purse because wanting it that bad made her feel a little stupid.

Well, the darn thing went on sale the other day at 40-percent off and another 10-percent off with her store card. Now, of course, she had to have that red bag.

Apparently, so did every other woman in the United States. Because, she had it in her online shopping cart and by the time she got her credit card out, it was no longer available. It had been snatched right out of her cart.

She was furious. She felt violated. “How dare they sell MY red purse?”

She called the company.  They apologized and looked for one in their inventory anywhere. They gave her stores and a warehouse to call and reserve it before the last one could be sold. She called around for over an hour and finally got to someone who found one in California and ordered it for her.

As she was patting herself on the back for her investigative skills and persistence my friend had an aha! moment. She had recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her doctor had given her a list of endocrinologists he’d be comfortable recommending but she hadn’t even looked at it, let alone researched it.

“I had been meaning to but I had been putting it off for no good reason. I thought why on earth don’t I apply that same purse passion to taking charge of my own health care?”

She thought about it for a minute and the answer she came up with unnerved her a little. “Health care is not sexy,”  Purses are sexy! Purses are sexier than being healthier and maybe living longer? Eek!

But health is sexy! Quality of life is sexy!

As she started to Google the doctors on the list, she began to sing a parody to that old rock song.
“I’m too sexy for my purse, too sexy for my mouse pad, but not too sexy for my doctor’s office. Maybe a little bit too sexy, but I’m goin’ anyway.”

I think perhaps my friend has touched a nerve in many of us. Would we really rather look good than to feel good?

Sure seems like it. I think it’s that very premise that prompted an ad agency to come up with a TV commercial for a dietary supplement featuring a sexy dancing X-ray skeleton of a baby boomer model that’s protecting her looks by protecting her bones.

It got my attention. If you can’t get them to do it for health, get them to do it for beauty. Twistedly brilliant! Their slogan is “Beauty Is Bone Deep.”

So I guess, if beauty is your motivation, go for it; especially when the health comes with it.
But what do you do if you already have osteoporosis like my friend, or have low bone mass, or you just have the good sense to want to take of your bones?

Osteoporosis And Calcium

I asked Susan Randall, MSN, FNP-BC, Senior Director, Science and Education at the National Osteoporosis Foundation and she said:

Getting enough calcium in our diet is really important. The NOF recommends
an intake of 1,000 miligrams for adult women from age 50 or younger, and age 51 and older — 1,200 milligrams a day for adult women. If a woman isn’t paying enough attention to calcium in her diet she puts herself at risk. But more is not necessarily better when it comes to calcium. Neither women nor men should get more than about 2,000 milligrams a day.

She also said “Weight bearing exercise actually builds bone in youth and will help maintain bone.”

I said,  “People my age, are worried about falling down and breaking something.”

When I asked her about fall prevention she said, “As we get older the type of exercise changes a little bit. We still have to do some impact work but it has to be safe to avoid injury and falls so you want to add balance training, flexibility training, and safe movement to make sure the individual is able to stay active and healthy.”

Finally she recommended anyone interested in getting more facts about osteoporosis and bone health visit www.nof.org

So what’s the takeaway here? My takeaway is if you like standing on your own two feet, taking care of your bones is about as sexy as it gets.

For more info on Osteoporosis exercise videos please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Bone Health: Vibration Exercise

Bone Health!

Every May I write something about osteoporosis. May is osteoporosis month and I can’t say enough about this debilitating yet largely preventable bone disease.

By definition, osteoporosis is a disease that, over time, causes bones to become thinner, more porous and less able to support the body. Bones can become so thin that they break during normal, everyday activity.

I’ve written a number of articles about the importance of weight bearing exercise and a calcium and vitamin D rich diet in preventing osteoporosis. So today I’m focusing on FALL PREVENTION. So many osteoporotic fractures are caused by falls so anything that can prevent those falls should be on your radar.

An interesting fall prevention method that’s been getting a lot of attention lately is using a Whole Body Vibration platform. Research by the Russian and American space programs has long suggested that a piezo-electric effect caused by vibrating the body strengthens muscles, and may prevent bone loss. A recent German study Erlangen Longitudinal Vibration Study (ELVIS) shows it can also greatly reduce falls.

You simply stand on the vibrating plate and shake for several minutes. How long and how vigorously you shake can be dialed to suit your personal body needs and fitness level.

Commercial versions of the vibration platform are available at gyms and rehab centers. Home versions are sold online and at sporting goods and health equipment stores. Prices for the home versions start at about $199.

And for traditionalist in all of us, it’s true, simple balance exercises can go a long way towards reducing your chances of taking a serious fall.

Try this simple exercise:

Stand erect near a wall (in case you lose your balance) hands at your sides.

Slowly raise one foot a couple of inches off the ground while shifting your weight to your grounded foot.

When you’ve got your balance slowly raise your arms over your head and reach for the sky.

As you get more comfortable, try raising your held-up foot farther up until it’s near the knee of your grounded leg.

For more info on Osteoporosis exercise videos please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Asthma and Exercise

Asthma and Exercise

Mirabai_Holland: Pursed Breathing For Asthmatics

Asthma and Exercise?

Most people with Asthma can exercise and become fit. But the type, and intensity of exercise Asthmatics can do varies greatly from person to person. Here’s a video that outlines the rules of thumb.

  

Asthma And Exercise

ASTHMATIC-BRONCHIOLE_WEB

Asthmatic or not, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways. It causes bronchial passages to become inflamed and arrowed in response to triggers like cold, exercise, and stress, and allergens like dust mites, dander and smoke.

Breathing becomes labored and difficult, and in extreme cases, Asthma attacks can be fatal. Asthma is on the rise. Asthma affects about 25 million people in the U.S. according to the National Institutes of health.

The cause has been debated for decades. The hygiene hypothesis: it was thought that living in a too clean environment, like suburban America, and smaller family size decreased a child’s exposure to bacteria and viruses, thus preventing the immune system from developing normally and allowing it to instead set its sights on allergic triggers like dust.

More recent studies in less clean urban areas suggest Asthma causes are more complex and no one explanation has come to the forefront.

There are many types and degrees of Asthma. There is no cure, but modern medicine has provided options that help keep most Asthma symptoms under control most of the time. They include, drugs, swallowed, inhaled and injected, and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Yes, people with Asthma can exercise.

The most common symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
But exercising with Asthma is a two edged sword. Exercise is an irritant trigger.

It can induce Asthma. In fact, there is a whole category of asthmatics for which exercise induced Asthma, EIA for short, is the main issue. However this can be overcome. Studies show that exercising for fitness, particularly aerobic exercise, strengthens and builds the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems to the same extent as it does in non-asthmatics.

Asthma And Exercise

Asthmatics can become very fit. Many Olympic and professional athletes, have exercise-induced Asthma.

So what kinds of exercise can and should asthmatics do and, what precautions should they take.

Pick an exercise that gets your heart rate up without putting too much pressure on your breathing.

Generally, low intensity activities like walking, biking, moderate aerobics and swimming outdoors where fumes from pool chemicals are less of an irritant, are more easily tolerated. Activities like high intensity aerobics or calisthenics can be more problematic and should be approached gradually.

Exercise limitations; vary greatly from person to person. Some asthmatics have trouble with even low intensity exercise, while others can do almost anything most of the time.

First and foremost consult your doctor before you begin.

Rules of thumb:

· Depending on your particular condition, you may need to take medication, or take a puff or two from your inhaler before you begin.
· If you use a peak flow meter, test yourself and don’t exercise unless you’re in normal range.
· Keep your emergency inhaler handy during exercise just in case.
· Avoid triggers whenever possible.
· If it’s too cold or the pollen count is high outside, exercise indoors.
· Exercise outside when the air is clear and humidity is higher.
· If you exercise in the cold, wear a scarf over your nose and mouth to warm and moisten the air as you breathe.
· Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
· Take time to warm up with slow dynamic movements like marching in place or gentle stretching.
· Start slowly and monitor how the exercise is affecting you.
· Avoid sudden bouts of intense exercise.
· Breath through your nose if possible in a relaxed controlled pattern
· Try using pursed lip breathing. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with lips pursed as though whistling. It helps avoid hyperventilation and manages shortness of breath. It helps your airways relax and dilate so you can expel carbon dioxide and take in oxygen.
· If exercise induces your Asthma more severely, with your doctors approval, you may want to try easing in with gentle movements while seated in a chair.

The bottom line is exercising with Asthma is a very individual undertaking. One size does not fit all. Some people can do almost anything, while others have trouble with even light exercise.

Talk to your doctor, listen to your body, Start gently and build up. Stay in your comfort zone. Take precautions, get fit and live well.

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