Osteoporosis is a major health threat for 44 million Americans every year. 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 8 men will get osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is known as the silent killer because ½ of the population who have low bone mass are not aware of it. Osteoporosis puts people at a much higher risk for painful bone fractures that are sometimes fatal.
Osteoporosis isn’t picky either as it has lots of bones to choose from. You have 206 bones in your body. So what do you think all these bones do? They aren’t just holding you up. Your bones are living storage materials. Think of your bones like a savings account. Bones have a storage vault: 95% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones. You see, your body absolutely NEEDS calcium to survive. Calcium is even more important for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and blood clotting. Calcium actually helps your heart contract because your heart is a muscle. So given a choice between keeping your heart beating or thinning your bones, your body will withdraw from your bone account, leaving your savings weak, thin and frail. And that’s how you get Osteoporosis. You survive, but may be bound to a wheelchair and/or suffer a debilitating fracture. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of hip fractures, a tragedy that I am called upon to treat regularly. Hip fractures are painful and can result in permanent loss of independence and even death. Preventative action should be taken now. Weight bearing and resistance exercises play an important role in Osteoporosis prevention and treatment. The earlier you begin to build a deposit in your bone bank, the healthier you will be.
Protect your shoulders, elbows and wrists these simple moves from PBS TV star of Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews.
Elbow Flexion (Bicep Curls)
Your bicep muscles are utilized every time you carry shopping or grocery bags so keep them strong.
You can do this move sitting at your desk or standing up.
- Keep your elbow stationary at your waist.
- Begin by extending your arm all the way down until your arm is straight at your side. Bend your elbow towards your chest and repeat.
Tip: If you want fast results, take 2 counts to lift the weight and 2 counts to let it down with a controlled movement. Make sure to keep your palm supinated (side up) and in line with your wrist. Don’t allow your wrist to wobble. You can start with a water bottle, and gradually add more weight when you can easily do one set of 15. Aim for 2 sets of 15.
Left to right: Suzanne Andews, Occupational Therapist/L with 4 lb weights, Glenn Edison Poyer, Certified Personal Trainer performing the seated version with 2 lb weights and Alina Z, Certified Health Coach performing the modified version with 1 lb water bottles.
Double Duty Hip and Shoulder Strengthener
- Lift your knee up so it’s in line with your hip.
- Raise your arms to shoulder level with a dumbbell as shown here.
- Lower your leg and your arms at the same time, repeat by lifting opposite knee up and arms at the same time. When this becomes easy you can add ankle weights beginning with 1 lb.
Star of PBS TV’s Functional Fitness, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician guides you with evidenced based bone building exercises in Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews Bone Builder DVD.