We are entering a new era with medical fitness in terms of understanding how exercise can help individuals with chronic illness and stress. This is a very exciting time for the fitness industry…
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects our bone system due to a decrease in bone mass, density and an increase in the space between the bones. As a result, one’s bones become brittle and suspect to breaking. There are two types of osteoporosis: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is generally a result of the aging process and a decrease in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help regulate how fast bone is lost. Type 2 is a result of medications or other health issues that interfere with bone reformation. Thankfully, both types are treatable!
Most Common Areas Affected: Osteoporosis is generally found in the neck of the thigh and lower back. A lot occurs in these areas, so, a decrease in the strength of the bone there is not a good thing.
Nutrition: Since nutrition plays a factor in everything we do, it is important to mention it for those with osteoporosis. The three things to focus on the most are: an increase in calcium, and a stoppage of alcohol intake and smoking.
Exercises: Research shows that it takes about six months of consistent exercise at somewhat high intensities to produce enough bone mass change. With that being said, it is important to use proper exercises in a progressive fashion and make them specific to you. Exercises should focus on the following areas of the body as they stress the overall bone structure: core, hips, thighs, back and arms. Here are my top six exercises to start your 6-month program:
Planks: 1-3 sets of 8-20 reps
Supine Bridges: 1-3 sets of 8-20 reps
Prone Cobras: 1-3 sets of 8-20 reps
Squats: 1-3 sets, 8-20 reps
Standing Tube Row: 1-3 sets, 8-20 reps
Single leg balance: 1-3 sets, 8-20 reps
While osteoporosis can be a life threatening disease, it can be managed through exercise. Most people who include daily exercise are able to ward off further damage to their body and are able to do their normal daily activities of life. Performing the six exercises listed and then progressing to more challenging ones will keep a person with osteoporosis healthy!
Maurice D. Williams is a personal trainer and owner of Move Well Fitness in Bethesda, MD. With almost two deciades in the industry, he’s worked with a wide range of clients, including those with health challenges like diabetes, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, coronary artery disease, lower back pain, pulmonary issues, and pregnancy. Maurice is also a fitness educator with Move Well Fit Academy and NASM.
Do you know that the things you do every day can affect your bones? Sadly, ‘harmless’ things that are a part of our routine can actually hurt our bones in the long run. For example, we carry a lot of weight, we lead a sedentary life, we eat all the wrong things; and with the passage of time, we develop joint aches and bone ailments.
By eliminating these simple habits from our lifestyles, we can avoid getting osteoarthritis and protect our health. Continue reading to find out more.
1. Sedentary Lifestyle
We wake up, go to work, and sit in front of a computer screen all day. People who spend a lot of time sitting have at a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis. Practicing a sedentary lifestyle is common for people who work in an office. There is not much time to move around.
Walking, dancing and running can be very helpful in strengthening your bones. So give your bones the exercise they need.
2. Lack of Sleep
Rest is essential for everyone. The thing you should know about your body is that it goes through a constant cycle of detoxifying and cleansing. This process starts with the lymphatic system and continues to your liver. They slowly re-balance and restore the essential functions of your body. And for this process to occur, your body needs to be submerged in deep rest.
Research shows that lack of sleep damages the health of your bones as well. It also reduces the bone marrow and makes materialization difficult, which can lead to osteoporosis in the future.
3. Be Careful with High Heels and Bags
Women have a lot of habits that damage their bones over time. We all drool over our high heels and spend a considerable portion of our paycheck buying the perfect pair. What we don’t know that wearing high heels frequently have a terrible impact on our posture. And thereby, affect the bones in our shins, feet, and back. After a long day of wearing heels, intense pain and fatigue sets in. And in the years that come by, you could suffer from serious problems. So instead of choosing high heels, go for the medium ones.
Another thing that is affecting your posture is those heavy bags. Without even realizing it, some women carry 10 kilos worth of stuff in their tote and shoulder bags. Carrying so much weight, unfortunately, puts a great deal of stress on your shoulders and spine. Not to forget, it causes pain and discomfort.
We have all heard the warning that smoking is bad for health. What most people don’t know is that it is even worse for your bones. Studies prove that people who use tobacco frequently have lower levels of bone density. Smokers are at a higher risk for fractures than non-smokers. Smoking produces free radicals which kill the cells that build bones (i.e., osteoblasts). If you have already had a fractured bone, smoking damages your blood vessels, which result in the slow healing process.
So throw away that pack of cigarettes, you don’t need them, and neither do your bones.
5. High Salt Consumption
There is definitely a relationship between lower bone density and high salt intake.
We all know salt is bad for our skeletal system as it leeches calcium from our bones. The junk food that we like to munch on time and again is also causing harm to our joints and ligaments. Table salt consists of chloride and sodium. If we consume too much of it, it promotes metabolic acidosis. And that contributes towards the loss of bone density in the long run.
6. Constant Coffee and Soda Consumption
Your day isn’t complete without a cup of coffee. Caffeine is necessary to wake up and give our day the much-needed boost. Coffee contains Methylated xanthine, which increases the amount of calcium release through urine. And over time, the minerals from your bones are affected, resulting in brittle bones.
One or two cups of coffee a day is fine. But, if you exceed that number, your bones will suffer the consequences.
Another drink that affects the health of your bones is soda, especially cola drinks. Sodas have a high amount of phosphoric acids in them, which reduce the consumption of calcium. So it’s better to avoid carbonated beverages so they can’t cause problems later.
7. Sugary or Processed Foods
Packaged and highly-processed foods have low nutrients and high sodium and sugar level. Processed food contains food additives and synthetic chemicals that are very bad for your health. Packaged foods often include hydrogenated oils that are very damaging to your bones. In addition to that, your bones will pay a hefty price if you indulge yourself in a lot of sugary snacks. Not only sugar is inflammatory; it also leads to the blood-sugar imbalances that damage your bones.
Remember, if you cut back on these 7 habits, your bones will be stronger, and you will avoid a lot of bone-related problems in your later life. Not to forget, watch your calcium and vitamin D intake so your bones could be healthy!
Zyana Morris is a passionate blogger who loves to write on trending health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a featured author at Healthable, Uplifting Families, Inscriber Mag, Hello Mamas and few others. Her favorite quote “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”. You can follow her through Facebook and Twitter.
The gym can be a confusing place especially for individuals with health concerns. Many times, these clients are trying to navigate their workouts by themselves because they are unsure of the appropriate questions that they need to ask.
First of all, there are two different types of trainers. There are trainers who have a four year degree and certifications. These trainers are sometimes called Fitness Specialists and have had many hours of study related to a wide variety of diseases and injuries. They are used to modifying exercises and programs based on any specific condition you may have. Fitness Specialists are usually found in a medically based fitness facility affiliated with a hospital. Please note that some Fitness Specialist’s will specialize in a certain area. Some work with individuals with diseases and disabilities and some don’t.
When you finally narrow down who you might like to hire you will want to ask some questions. Please don’t be afraid to ask these questions as they will help you to decide which trainer is right for you. It is also recommended that you observe Fitness Specialists training clients.
First you want to make sure that the trainer has had experience with your condition. If not, they should be willing to research it and or speak with your doctor with your permission. There are exercise guidelines that all Fitness Specialists should follow when working with clients who have health conditions.
You will also want to ask about the trainers background. It is alright to ask about education, certifications, and years of experience. You also want to hire someone who is patient with you. This is extremely important as you figure out which exercises work best for your body. I would also like to add that you need to be patient with yourself as well. Try to relax and enjoy your training session.
Asking the questions from above help to keep you feeling confident. Exercise can seem frustrating in the beginning but you have to keep a positive mindset. In the beginning, set small goals and do the best you can during each training session.
Robyn Caruso is the Founder of The Stress Management Institute for Health and Fitness Professionals. She has 15 years of experience in medical based fitness.
There are many conditions for which exercise can help. Osteoporosis is one such condition, but due to its nature, there are some important factors to consider when putting together an exercise regimen.
Strong bones your whole life long will help keep you healthy and active. But how do you get and keep strong bones?
For those struggling with chronic medical conditions, exercise can be an often under-utilized way to manage some symptoms and improve others. This is especially the case for diseases like osteoporosis. This is a great opportunity for fitness professionals to utilize their training to really help others.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system in which bones fail to create new tissue and when existing bone tissue breaks down. This means that bone structures on those with osteoporosis are much more susceptible to injury. As such, you — as a fitness professional — are uniquely suited to help osteoporosis patients who need to be much more careful and might require a little bit more creativity in their regimen.
First of All…
Make sure that the client has cleared their exercise program with their doctor. Nothing can take the place of a qualified medical professional in terms of assessing safety. This also means that you might want to be available to discuss programming with a medical professional if possible. This way, you become an integral part of the individual’s treatment team and can offer valuable insight to both the doctor and the patient as to how they are dealing with one thing or another in relation to their illness.
There are quite a few things to take into consideration when programming a client’s regimen. In large part, you can even take an engineer’s approach when thinking about what is most important for them to achieve their goals. For instance, a cable bridge like the Brooklyn bridge in New York City is supported both with pylons and cables. Similarly, the human body has a skeletal and a muscular system which work together to support people.
If the concrete pylons under the bridge started to decay, one could compensate for this a little bit by strengthening the more flexible cables which also work to hold the bridge up. In this same way, if a person’s bones are brittle, their muscles can help compensate for this deficiency to an extent. But that isn’t all.
Bones have also been shown to respond positively to exercise in a similar fashion to muscles. So when you consider the building of muscle as a reaction to contraction and exerted force, bones will react similarly. Just be careful not to do too much.
Injury Prevention is EXTREMELY Important
Whereas most people would agree that injury prevention is important in training, it becomes that much more important to consider when training someone with osteoporosis. When a person with strong bones gets injured, depending on the severity, they might bounce back in a matter of weeks. When someone with osteoporosis gets injured, it can be a matter of months before they can return to training. Psychologically speaking as well, this can lead to a confidence issue which will negatively feed upon itself in the gym.
Staying positive is really critical, both for success in exercise and success in treatment, and injuries which knock you out of commission can completely derail months of work.
To continue the metaphor about a cable bridge’s support, another way to make those structures more effective is to reduce the amount of weight of the overall structure. Thus, weight loss can be a really helpful goal for the individual. This will alleviate some pressure and will likely lead to less pain.
Furthermore, strengthening the muscles which surround bones and joints can have a very positive impact on the individual fighting the disease. Stronger muscles mean that, even when sitting or standing, the individual uses less of their bone structure to support their body and uses more of their muscular system. This constitutes great progress.
As such, a combination approach is often best. The National Institution of Health notes that load-bearing exercises are best. Although activities like swimming are great for developing muscles and burning fat, there still needs to be a solid land-training component as well. This could be walking, hiking, or — for people who have more advanced experience with exercise — even running.
But cardio alone is insufficient. Resistance exercises will help to build critical muscle mass that will help them to live with less pain and less risk of an accident. This doesn’t mean that they have to start benching 300 pounds. Often times, simple and modified bodyweight exercises are a great way to implementresistance training. For those who are less mobile, resistance bands are incredibly useful.
Circuit training is a great way to more efficiently train clients. It’s especially the case for those suffering with osteoporosis. As such, you might have a circuit where they perform an individual bodyweight exercise — say modified push-ups, bodyweight squats, and a few balance exercises. Have your clients perform each exercise under your supervision for 30 seconds, then have them walk for 60 seconds, then do the next exercise for 30 seconds, alternating until they get to 20 minutes. Obviously, a program like this can be tweaked to be harder or easier based on the client’s ability level. This is a great way to train outdoors on a track, and is also valuable because it could be used in someone’s living room on days with bad weather as well.
Educate Them for Success
It’s also important to understand that you are not just guiding the individual through their routine, but you are teaching them how to train when you aren’t around. This means that it’s even more important to explain why you are having them do one exercise instead of another and how it fits into the overall picture. Their ability to exercise independently of you will only garner more trust in your client/trainer relationship and they will see gains more quickly. Just remember to keep them safe and teach what you can. They will thank you for the effort!
Jane Curth is the co-founder and CEO of FitFixNow. Helping people on their wellness journey is her passion; Jane has helped clients and students with their diet and fitness struggles for over 20 years.
Medical Fitness is a growing trend in health care. Medical Fitness helps extend basic healthcare from the classic and formal model of a person being a patient, receiving treatment and being discharged entirely, to after care professional services.
Two leading health concerns for senior citizens — osteoporosis (porous bones) and osteoarthritis (inflammation of the joints) – can be safely addressed by a yoga practice in which alignment and weight-bearing poses are practiced along with a gentle flow from pose to pose.