BETTER BONES –

When it comes to the bones – people can go into panic mode, since bones are broken easily by way of accidents, disease, ill-health, and etc.  However, anyone who wants to have a ‘fit body’, can help it to be ‘fit’ by BUILDING BETTER BONES. 

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Being a dancer, I learned early, that the bones are important to the support of the body. I also learned that the bones of the foot are the last bones to ossify (harden). Total ossification occurs between the age of 19 – 22 depending on the person. Peak bone strength is reached by the age of 30. This makes it vital, that when you are young, you engage in dynamic impact movement. Sherri Betz, chair of the American Physical Therapy Association bone health group and a doctor of physical therapy noted that “engaging in sports during our youthful developing years helps build strong, wide and dense bones that will carry us well into old age.”

Today, most parents encourage their children, male and female, to be involved in sports. Dance is also considered a sport by the sport standards of today. This is all well and good, but my personal experience tells me that it is well and good as long as the sport or dance is learned by way of correct teaching methods by the teacher or coach. Luckily, as a young dancer, I had a great teacher who knew these facts. She was adamant that we performed our dance steps and exercises in the correct way and explained the why and the wherefore for doing so. I implemented this into my teaching as well. I had parents tell me that they were bringing their child to me for dance instruction at the advice of their doctor because he/she knew I would not lead them astray with incorrect teaching methods, and, as well, that they trusted me to help a child that had a particular physical issue and correct that issue when it had to do with the legs and the feet. I felt this to be a high compliment – and took care of my students with love in my heart for each individual child’s needs.

While encouraging your children, teenagers and young adults to participate in sports and exercise, encourage them to be wise and cautious in what exercise they choose and how they do it. Injuries do occur – especially in contact sports. When young, you heal quickly, and think nothing of the injury, but it always comes back to bite you in your senior years, starting as early as age 40, when all of a sudden, you experience unaccounted for pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, limited mobility throughout the whole body, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and etc.

As folks get older, many of them say “I am too old to change anything now.” That is not true. According to Steven A. Hawkins Ph.d., a professor of exercise science at the California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, “Adulthood  is a perfectly good time to start building and improving bone fitness and health.” Larry Tucker, Ph.d., professor of exercise sciences at the Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, tells us the “Bone doesn’t grow, per se, but like muscle, it does get denser and stronger according to the stresses and strains put on it.”

My research consensus is that the key to stimulate bone growth is to put a heavy load on the bones. This is usually done by the way of exercise. There are many suggestions for ways to do this. You will see many of them on the TV or in Gyms etc. They range from standing, to sitting, to full workout regiments. Standing and strengthening exercises targeting the leg and hip bones are recommended, because the bones are most likely to benefit from these types of exercise movements. It is recommended that you “don’t do the same things over and over at the same time,”because this action can actually diminish the effects of the exercise.” Exercises recommended the most are exercises involving “those that require changing directions, bouncing and leaping – from basketball to lively dancing, yoga, hopping, Tai Chi – with the recommendation that “they be done in the proper way.” Take reasonable rests from the exercise program. I recommend – if you are in your senior years, that you choose, or map out a routine for yourself, that takes no longer than 30 minutes each day.

This information should help you to decide what you need for yourself. If in doubt, consult your family physician first. Take it easy, don’t start heavy-duty putting the burden of stress on yourself. Sports that help as you grow into your senior years, can be golf, bowling, shuffle board, walking, bicycling, swimming, etc. If you insist on aerobics, make it LOW IMPACT. High impact aerobics, Zumba, small trampoline, and some of the new short-lived methods of exercise, can open the door to fatigue and injury. For me, I LOVE TAI CHI.

In addition to exercise, the bones need to be nourished. Without nourishment your bones experience constant tear down and can become more porous and brittle. It has been reported by the National Institute of Health that, “one out of every two women and one in every four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.” It has been shown that a healthy diet and long-term supplementation is effective in improving bone health and integrity.

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NOTE: None of the above can be accomplished without action. Steroids, pain killers, and prescription medications should never be used to coerce you into thinking that all is well in Healthville, Strengthville and Wellville. They temporarily relieve the pain, but DO NOT act on the cause of the pain.

                     MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES AND BECOME A ‘NEW’ YOU! 

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Health Tips Continued

 

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HEARING LOSS – is considered to be a normal part of aging, but recent studies indicate otherwise. According to Life Extension researchers, for two years there have been studies made to identify the underlying cause of hearing loss. These findings show that “age-related hearing loss involves damage not just to the cells in the ear itself, but to nerve cells that support hearing.” The findings also revealed that “elevated homocysteine – long associated with cardiovascular and neurological conditions also contributes to hearing loss.” They suggest that the elevated homocysteine levels can be lowered by the supplemental intake of folate – which is a water-soluble B vitamin. This is a new approach to mitigating hearing loss. You might want to try it. Discuss it with your physician first.

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VERTIGO – experienced by extreme dizziness, this is a debilitating issue. Vertigo is a dizziness where you feel as though the world around you is in constant motion. WHAT TRIGGERS IT? Certain medications, inflammation of nerves in the inner ear, viral infections or abnormal fluid pressure in the inner ear or displaced particles in the canals of the inner ear.

There are millions of nerve endings that, according to Dr. Eric Winder, “give us position sense all throughout our bodies, embedded in the connective tissue called fascia. They provide the information that makes all coördinated movement possible including the instinctive leveling of the head. In the case of vertigo, restriction in the fascia of the jaw, upper neck and skull can create a distortion in position sense which can trigger the disorienting symptoms.” It can be treated by massage fascia release therapies to remove restriction of the connective tissues in the upper neck, jaw muscles and muscles at the base of the skull. This information fascinated me, since I have many friends who complain about having Vertigo all the time. I suggest that if you experience  symptoms of Vertigo which are extreme or long-lasting, the you be evaluated by a physician who specializes in this condition. Dr. Winder, also suggests that if vertigo or dizziness occurs with other symptoms such as blurred vision, rapid heart rate or mental confusion, urgent medical evaluation is necessary.

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BRAIN – I have talked a lot about the brain and conditions related to the brain. A short note to remind you that raw fruit and veggies are the key to good Mental Health. This is confirmed by a report from New Zealand’s University of Otago. They found a correlation between eating raw produce and measures of psychological well-being, positive mood and life satisfaction. According to Tamlim Conner, Ph,D, “cooking produce foods limits the delivery of nutrients that are essential for optimal emotional functioning.”  Foods to add to your diet include (if not already on your list), carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, grapefruit, other citrus, and as I always suggest, berries, melons, and as well, cucumbers and  kiwis, and grapes. I eat lots of grapes. They also help lower the risk of hearing loss – mentioned earlier.

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MAPLE SYRUP – Are you using maple syrup as a sweetener? Maple Syrup which used to come in a standard grade A, grade B and grade C, is now classified by the U.S.D.A as only standard Grade A with 4 new descriptions. They are Grade A: Golden Color and Delicate Taste which is best for pancakes, waffles, oatmeal and yogurt. Grade A: Amber Color & Rich Flavor – used best  when baking, stirring it into cocktails or tea, and even glazing salmon with it. (This I have done for years – mixed with grated garlic.) Grade A: Dark Color and Robust Flavor – it’s almost like brown sugar, best used in BBQ sauce and as a glaze for grilled meat or as an unconventional pairing for cheese in place of honey. And, last but not least Grade A: Very Dark & Strong Flavor  – this is the most robust, the last to be tapped in the maple season, is usually not sold commercially to the public, but is sold to factories and candy producers. It can be substituted one to one in recipes that call for molasses.

The HEALTH BENEFITS OF MAPLE SYRUP – if you are hesitant to use it as a sweetener are very beneficial.

  • Maple syrup contains numerous antioxidants
  • Gets a lower score on the glycemic index
  • Fights inflammatory diseases
  • Helps protect skin health
  • Is a great alternative to sugar for improved digestion, and is a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners
  • Supplies Important Vitamins and Mineral
  • May Enhance Antibiotic Effects

I am impressed! I have used it for years as a sweetener. I alternate between Maple Syrup and Honey.

Hope you enjoyed these tips, and maybe learned something new. When trying something new remember – (Quotes by  Thomas S. Monson)

  • It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Noah erected an ark in obedience to the command from God.
  • It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Abraham was willing to offer up his beloved Isaac as a sacrifice.
  • It was by faith, nothing wavering, that Joshua and his followers brought the walls of Jericho tumbling down.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!