Osteoporosis Awareness Month: Is Your Thigh Bone Like The Eiffel Tower?

Osteoporosis Awareness MonthEach May, Osteoporosis Awareness Month, I devote my column to bone health. I first became interested in bones as a young dancer (about 200,000 years ago, in the Mid Paleolithic era). I was studying body alignment and I became fascinated with the skeleton and the remarkable living tissue that makes up our bones. I was intrigued by the intricate architectural structure of bone.

Osteoporosis Awareness MonthThere’s the smooth, hard shell we see on the outside called cortical bone, and the amazing crisscrossed, honeycomb like structure on the inside called trabecular bone. The combination of cortical and trabecular bone make our skeletons, strong, light, flexible and efficient.

The structure of trabecular bone is the secret ingredient. The trabecular bracing structure is located at precisely the correct angles to absorb the maximum force.

So when you jump over a puddle or run for a bus, it’s the trabecular bracing that directs the force to the strongest part of your skeleton and prevents a bone from breaking.

Most of us aren’t aware of our beautiful bone structure. But, it hasn’t gone unnoticed or unutilized.

The structure of trabecular bone was copied by the French bridge builder Gustave Eiffel, who wanted to build the tallest man-made structure in the world. When he built the Eiffel tower in 1889, he calculated the positioning of the braces in the curves of the legs to direct any force like high winds on the entire structure to the strongest area; the four legs. This is why the Eiffel tower continues to stand the test of time.

That’s fine for an iron tower. If part of it becomes weakened you can see it and fix it. But what happens to weakened or damaged areas of our skeletons?

I was astonished to find out that bones are pretty smart. They don’t grow to adult size and then stop.

Osteoporosis Awareness MonthOur skeletons are constantly getting rid of old weakened bone tissue and replacing it with new healthy bone. Osteoporosis Awareness MonthIn a process called remodeling, old weakened areas are broken down and replaced with new well-formed tissue. Our bodies replace about 10 percent of our bone each year.

Osteoporosis Awareness MonthIn bones with osteoporosis, the remodeling process has gotten out of whack.Those sturdy crisscrossed structures disappear and bones get weak and start to fracture. Fractures occur most often where there is the most trabecular bone.

The three areas most at risk for osteoporotic fracture are the spine has the most trabecular bone. So, if you have osteoporosis, the vertebrae start to squash under the weight of the torso. The thighbone at the hip is next. It can break just stepping off a curb. And the wrist will likely break if you put out your hands to catch yourself in a fall.

Osteoporosis Awareness Month

But there’s a lot you can do to prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone health. Weight bearing exercise like walking, jogging, aerobic dance and weight resistance training, stimulate the remodeling process and promote bone growth.

Exercise should be site specific. Do weight bearing and resistance exercises for the whole body but pay special attention to the areas most at risk; the spine, the hip and the wrist. Calcium and Vitamin D are also important. Here’s a link to the current National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines. 

Remember your bones are living tissue. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

If you want to get started working out your bones, check out my specially priced

http://www.mirabaiholland.com

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Osteoporosis Prevention Workout

Osteoporosis Prevention WorkoutAn Osteoporosis Prevention Workout can go a long way towards protecting bone mass and preventing falls that can cause a fracture. 44 million of us are at risk for Osteoporosis. The vast majority are women. Women often develop Osteopenia (low bone mass that can lead to Osteoporosis) in the first few years after menopause because they lose bone-protecting estrogen. One of the symptoms of menopause is bone loss.
The good news is bones are living tissue. They can become denser with weight bearing and resistance exercise.

When working out your bones it’s important to load the areas most at risk for fracture: the spine, the hip, and the wrist. Here are 3 easy Bone Loading exercises, one for each of those areas, you can do using a pair of hand weights or a couple of soup cans. Use a weight that makes the exercise feel somewhat hard after 8 reps. Remember to always exhale on the exertion. Do 8-15 reps of each of these exercises. Start where you’re comfortable and build up.

Osteoporosis Prevention Workout

And of course always consult your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

Double arm row: Loads SpineOsteoporosis Prevention Workout

Start with arms in front of you, weights together.
Slowly row arms back, bending elbows bringing weights to chest height.
Squeeze shoulder blades together, without shrugging your shoulders.

Lunge – Loads Hip and Femur (thigh bone)Osteoporosis Prevention Workout

Stand tall, feet about shoulder width apart, hands and weights at your sides.
Keep body erect and lunge forward with left foot, bending both knees to help facilitate the move. (Right heel comes off the floor). Your front knee should be aligned over the second toe of that foot and your weight should be centered between your front and back foot.
Hold for 8 seconds, (remember to breathe) return to starting position and repeat lunging with right foot.

Wrist Curls Osteoporosis Prevention Workout

Hold arms in front of you palms up.
Using only your wrists, curl weights toward your body until knuckles are facing the ceiling.
Slowly lower and repeat.

Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start working out your bones!
For more information on Mirabai’s Skeletal Fitness Workouts please visit http://www.mirabaiholland.com

 

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It’s Fashion Flash

Moving Free With Mirabai is pleased to be hosting Fashion Flash this week because we have such fabulous tips for you to look and feel your best this summer. They’re just a click away.

 


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Enjoy the 4th of July with a Strawberry Kiss!  This pink cocktail delight has less calories and sugar than a strawberry daiquiri. It’s so refreshing and Menopause  Makeover approved

 

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Looking for a great summer lipstick? Fab Over Forty’s series Summer Lip Look has a week long list of looks from Giorgio Armani, Sonia Kashuk, Lancome, Dior and Tom Ford.  Which one will you choose?

 

TV show House of Curves defies critics and promotes a positive body image for plus size women

 

 

Want a flawless complexion AND sun protection? Cindy from Prime Beauty introduces us to Avene High Protection Tinted Compact SPF50–your skin will love it and no sun damage! Your welcome.

 

There’s a new kind of dress in town and it’s a huge hit, especially with us gals over 40.  Style expert Deborah Boland from Fabulous After 40 shows us why women over 40 are loving high-low maxi dresses.

 

 

 

Deb of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog finds a low glycemic alternative for high glycemic  rice

 

Moving Free With MirabaiHolidays make we wax philosophic.And thinking about this independence day reminded me not only of our founding fathers and our present men and women in uniform, it also brought to mind another kind of independence.  I’m talking about independence into our old age. The kind that health and fitness can bring. Remember Fitness=Longevity.

So when you drink that toast to independence, add health to that toast and think of how you’re going to get back to exercising on the 5th of July.

We Fashion Flashers wish you a Joyous and Festive Independence Day. And as independent women, we all know how important that is!

 



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Skeletal Fitness Core & Balance For Your Bones by Mirabai Holland, MFA © 2012

I’m up in the Colorado Rockies shooting a couple of new videos.

Here’s an exerpt from one of my soon to be released Osteoporosis exercise

videos shot in this location.

Let me know what you think.

 

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Best Exercises For Combating Osteoporosis by Mirabai Holland, MFA ©2012

Skeletal Fitness by Mirabai Holland: A Workout For Your Bones

Osteoporosis is one of those silent diseases that can creep up on you before you know you have it. To combat Osteoporosis and help keep your bones healthy for a lifetime, it’s important to increase your Skeletal Fitness!

Osteoporosis is a disease, which, over time, causes bones to become thinner, more porous and less able to support the body. Usually there’s no pain in the early stages.

44 million of us are at risk for Osteoporosis. The vast majority are women.

Women often develop Osteopenia (low bone mass that can lead to Osteoporosis) in the first few years after menopause because they lose bone-protecting estrogen.

But, we can prevent and help reverse the effects of Osteoporosis by working out our bones. On the outside, bones look solid and rock-like, but they’re not.

They’re living tissue. There is a smooth, hard, outside layer

made of cortical bone, and the inside, is a strong, light weight,

honeycomb-like structure, called trabecular bone, which contains blood vessels, and bone marrow. The combination of cortical and trabecular bone enables the skeleton to be light, strong, flexible and efficient.

By young adulthood, our bones have grown to their full size and density. But activity in our bones is far from over. In a cycle called remodeling, old and weakened areas of our skeletons are broken down and replaced with new well-formed tissue. Adults have about 10 to 15% of their bone replaced each year.

In bones with Osteoporosis, the remodeling cycle is out of balance. Bone is broken down but little or nothing takes its place. The outside hard cortical layer

gets thinner, and the honeycombed, trabecular inside becomes more porous.

Most people don’t discover they have Osteoporosis until a fracture occurs.

Fractures occur most often at the spine, at the hip, and at the wrist.

The good news is since bones are living tissue they can become denser with weight bearing exercise.

For example, astronauts lose bone mass in the weightlessness of space. To combat this, NASA is training astronauts for a mission to Mars, to do weight bearing exercise that simulates the exercises they will need to do in space to maintain their bone mass. Weight bearing exercise for Skeletal Fitness is called bone loading. When working out your bones it’s important to load the areas most at risk for fracture: the spine, the hip, and the wrist.

So for instance try these Do’s to help load the three areas most at risk:

· Carrying a backpack instead of a purse to help load your spine.

· Take stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can to load your hips.

· Grab some soup cans and do 8-16 reps of wrist curls and when that gets too light invest in some hand weights. Remember; always exhale on exertion when you’re lifting a weight. Start with a comfortable weight and add one pound every couple of weeks, or, when it feels too easy.

· As you get stronger you can add a full body weight-training program with special emphasis on the areas at risk for Osteoporosis.

Weight train every other day, because your body needs time to recover and grow stronger.

If you are at risk for or have Osteoporosis, here are some Don’ts

· As a general rule, don’t do anything that requires you to bend forward from the waist with the back rounded; this is called spinal flexion and increases the risk of collapsed vertebra so no toe touches.

· Avoid sit-ups, and crunches. Instead, you can strengthen your abdominals by keeping them pulled in, navel back to your spine during daily activity.

Also, always consult with your doctor, get all the information you can, together you can decide what’s best for you. And remember, it’s never too early or too late to start working out your bones!

For more information on bone-loading workouts please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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