June 2004, "Osteoporosis"

Osteoporosis is a dangerous thinning of bones. When you have osteoporosis, your bones become so fragile they could break from a minor fall, from lifting a baby out of a crib, or even from an exhuberant hug. Though the obvious problems usually occur later in life, we now know that the invisible damage begins earlier than most of us realise.
It is an insidious disease because you can`t see or feel what is happening. Most people who have osteoporosis don`t know it, and then a bone breaks!
Half of women over 60 years of age are at risk. Preventing osteoporosis is really a life and death matter, like preventing heart disease and cancer.
Osteoporosis can make a woman look old before her time, but she may have no idea that her slumped posture and her protruding tummy are caused by fractures in her spine.
As a woman you have one in three odds of suffering osteoporosis in your lifetime. Men can also suffer from this disease.
But you can beat the odds. Medical experts now consider osteoporosis a PREVENTABLE disease. Provided you have good nutrition and QUALITY EXERCISE.
There have been numerous studies done on how to increase bone density.
Back in the mid 1980`s, 36 sedentary women aged 50 to 70 were recruited to see if an ambitious walking program would help their bones. The women were given bone density tests, then divided into 2 groups. Half the women met 4 times per week for 1 year and spent 50 minutes walking. The other half (the control group) simply remained sedentary.
Then after 1 year the women`s bone density was measured. The results were very disappointing, as it had no effect at all on bone density in the hip, and there was only slight benefit to the spine, for the walking group. The control group lost bone density.
Another study was done with postmenopausal women, this time those in the exercise group did resistance/weight training 2 times per week. One year later the volunteers in the control group (who didn`t exercise), had lost 2% of their bone density. But the women who strength trained actually gained an average of 1%. What`s more their scores on a balance test increased by 14%, further reducing their risks of fractures.
Therefore it is never too late to start!

These findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994.

All the best, until next time&&...,

Keep Active, Keep Strong and you too will become a "Better Bod"


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