Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Boning Up on Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by less dense, more fragile bones, heightening the risk of fracture from even a minor fall or injury. As you may have heard, it is a serious concern for postmenopausal women. However, the disease can strike both men and women at any age. Indeed, ten million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, and another 34 million are at risk for developing it. To keep your bones healthy and strong, The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following strategies:

Get the right amount of calcium from foods every day. Calcium isn't just necessary for keeping bones strong; this vital mineral is also responsible for regulating heartbeat, maintaining blood clotting, signaling hormone secretion, and controlling nerve impulses. Since the human body is not capable of producing calcium — and you lose it daily through sweat, urine, skin, nails, and hair — you have to get it from foods. When you don't get enough calcium, your body is forced to strip it from your bones in order to perform the necessary functions. Dairy foods are the best source of calcium in the diet, but other foods (like plain or artificially sweetened soy milk) can also help you meet your needs. Enjoy two servings of the following each day: low-fat (1 percent) or fat-free milk; low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt; unsweetened or artificially sweetened low-fat soy milk. You may also enjoy three servings of dairy products daily. In addition, you may also choose up to 6 ounces of no-sugar-added, artificially sweetened low-fat or fat-free yogurt.

Get the right amount of vitamin D every day. Vitamin D is just as important as calcium for bone health, since it aids in the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream. Ideally, you would get enough vitamin D from direct exposure to sunlight. But since sun exposure can be affected by pollution, weather, and geography, it's also helpful to get vitamin D from fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and saltwater fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and herring.

Engage in regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Like muscles, the more that bones work, the stronger they become. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the most important activities for building bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your body moves against gravity, such as jogging, walking, climbing stairs, and dancing. Resistance exercise (also known as strength training) includes lifting weights or exercises that use your own body weight as the force of resistance (such as Pilates). To maximize results, aim to vary your type of exercise.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Choosing to smoke or drink in excess puts you at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis. If you do choose to drink alcohol (remember, all alcohol should be avoided), be sure to drink in moderation (one to two drinks per day), and try to consume alcohol with a meal, which slows its absorption.

Talk to your doctor about bone health. Your doctor may recommend frequent bone density tests to check for signs of bone deterioration, and in some cases he or she may even prescribe medication when appropriate.

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Eve :-)


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