Strategies for Better Bone Health

Below is another article telling us what really works. I’ve added emphasis to a few basic points that consistently stand out in the current literature regarding bone density issues – osteopenia and osteoporosis.

This article discusses another problem associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis, one that is relatively unknown – muscle loss called “sarcopenia“.

In order to prevent and reverse both bone loss AND muscle loss, we just need to ‘tweak’ our lifestyle a little. A few more vegetables (alkaline diet) and just a little regular exercise, every day, can make all the difference in the world.

The exercise required is simple. Find a used treadmill and use it at home to get in 10,000 steps a day, or add something like T-Tapp to your day, or find a local Curves for Women® fitness center, and then make that a part of your daily life.

Drugs cannot help your body build strong, healthy bone. Drugs force your body to respond in an un-natural, imbalanced way. It is much better to work with your body, and the things you need are simple, safe, and effective.

We already know what really works: Give your body what it naturally needs and then trust your inborn, innate intelligence to rebuild your body stronger than it is today. Dr. McIntosh

KEEPING FIT: Strategies for lifelong power

By Wayne L. Westcott
For The Patriot Ledger
Posted Apr 28, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

Unless we do regular resistance exercise, the aging process is accompanied by a gradual and progressive loss of muscle tissue known as sarcopenia. As I have discussed in previous Keeping Fit columns, muscle loss results in metabolic slowdown, which typically leads to fat gain, generally referred to as creeping obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for many health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, various types of cancer, low back pain and arthritis.

There is an even more direct association between muscle loss (sarcopenia) and bone loss (osteopenia). As bones become more porous, osteopenia progresses to osteoporosis, a serious medical condition characterized by low bone mass and a fragile skeletal system that is at risk for breaking.

  • Prevention or postponement of sarcopenia, osteopenia and osteoporosis requires proactive steps to maintain muscle mass and bone density as we age. Otherwise, we can lose five to 10 pounds of muscle and 20 to 30 percent of our bone mass every decade of adult life.
  • Fortunately, there are many simple things that we can do to enhance our muscle mass and bone density.
  • Most of these preventive and restorative measures are related to exercise and nutrition.

With respect to exercise, progressive resistance training is the most effective means for building or rebuilding muscle at any age. Numerous research studies, including our own at Quincy College, have shown that standard strength training increases muscle mass by about one pound per month. Consequently, our exercise program participants add almost six pounds of muscle after six months of strength training.

Other research has demonstrated that regular resistance exercise increases resting metabolic rate by approximately seven percent, which means that the body burns more than 100 extra calories every day at rest in order to maintain activated muscle tissue. Over the course of six months, this additional calorie burn is equivalent to approximately five pounds of fat loss.

One means of enhancing the muscle gain and fat loss associated with strength training is to consume a protein shake after each exercise session. In our 6-month study, this procedure produced almost six pounds more muscle as well as nine pounds less fat on those participants who also reduced their intake of nonnutritional calories.

  • Just as muscle loss leads to bone loss, muscle gain is associated with bone gain.
  • Many studies have demonstrated significant increases in bone density by participants who performed six or more months of progressive resistance exercise.

In our nine-month study, we combined the strength training program with after-exercise protein shakes, as well as daily calcium and vitamin D supplements. The control group (who did not exercise or change their eating habits) experienced a one-pound decrease in bone density. The group that did strength training (two or three days per week) ingested post-exercise protein shakes, and consumed extra calcium and vitamin D experienced a one-percent increase in bone density.

Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., teaches exercise science at Quincy College and consults for the South Shore YMCA. He has written 24 books on fitness.
Original Source:
Keywords: osteopenia, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, bone strength, bone quality, bone health, curves for women, T-Tapp