Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bone Health

As we age, we face bone loss, our bones become thinner and more brittle.
We have to watch our steps and be careful not to fall else we find broken legs and hips etc.
How can we prolong our bone health and sustain our bones to last a lifetime? This article shows you how.
"The food you eat each day is the most essential and bio-available source for all of the constituents for healthy bones. Supportive supplements may be a wise choice as well. Add to this, slowing down and paying attention when eating plus overall stress reduction, and not only are you likely to improve the quality of your bones and overall health, but also the quality of your life!"

Natural Bone Health Basics: There's More to Bone Health Than Bone Density
By Cheryl Berkowitz  |   Submitted On September 02, 2011 

When we think of bone health, the conventional thinking focuses on bone density and our DEXA-scan results being within a certain T-score range. But this concept of bone health is actually misleading. Yes, it's helpful to have sufficient mineralization and density in our bones, but a standardized T-score is based on the bone density of a 30-year old woman with a medium skeletal frame. What if you're a woman with a smaller frame? Where does that leave you in this context? What if you're a woman in her 50s, 60s or 70s?

The truth is: bone loss is natural. In fact, it's completely normal from around age 30 onwards. And in the six to ten years around menopause the rate of bone loss tends to increase. There's cause for concern when bone loss is markedly high or significantly progressive.

More importantly, the architecture of bone, the collagen matrix (a latticed protein matrix) of bone and its capacity for flexibility are much more significant factors in determining the overall health of our bones. It is quality, not quantity that matters most when it comes to our bones. Dense bones can be just as brittle as thinner bones. And thinner bones can have healthy architecture, stronger collagen matrix, and a greater capacity for flexibility, reducing our chance of experiencing fracture. After all, we want to avoid fracturing, no matter the density of our bones.

Despite the hype about susceptibility to fracture based on T-scores, more than 85% of women over 50 years of age will never experience a hip fracture, regardless of bone density. (Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, Women to Women) Likewise, an examination of the effectiveness of bone density screening by the University of Leeds found that people with higher bone density go on to have 63% of all fractures. (Health Studies, School of Public Health, University of Leeds). Just ask your doctor what s/he sees on a regular basis among patients.

The hype around T-scores and the prescribing of medications based on these T-scores may be a diversion from the real questions that need to be asked and from the most basic and overall health-enhancing strategies that need to be taken for optimum bone health.
Many factors contribute to bone loss and it is important to consider these, taking into account your health history, current diet and lifestyle factors. And in light of that we will very likely lose some bone as we age, the questions to ask are: what are the true causes of bone loss? what are the best ways to minimize bone loss? what can I do to truly maintain or restore the health of my bones?
Stress, sedentary lifestyle, nutrient imbalances, compromised digestion, endocrine imbalances, commonly prescribed medications and environmental toxins can deplete our bone reserves and impact the integrity of our bones.

In most cases, a diet rich in alkalinizing foods, the right balance of protein, healthy essential fats, minerals and micro-nutrients along with the appropriate physical activity, sunlight and a few choice bone building supplements will successfully restore bone health. Underlying causes must be considered and addressed when appropriate.

Here are a few key requirements for healthy bones. Protein and vitamin C stimulate formation of collagen matrix. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the intestines into the blood. Magnesium increases calcium absorption from the blood into the bones. Vitamin K acts in the production of proteins in the bone and helps calcium crystallize in the bones. Healthy fats are required to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as D and K. Phosphorus is essential for proper mineralization of bones and teeth.
The food you eat each day is the most essential and bio-available source for all of the constituents for healthy bones. Supportive supplements may be a wise choice as well. Add to this, slowing down and paying attention when eating plus overall stress reduction, and not only are you likely to improve the quality of your bones and overall health, but also the quality of your life!

Cheryl Berkowitz, CHHC, CHC is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Certified Health Coach based in Northampton, MA offering nutrition and lifestyle counseling to women of all ages. Cheryl provides nutritional healing support with a mindfulness-based approach, helping clients to improve and sustain good eating habits, shift underlying imbalances, reduce stress and overcome health issues to achieve vibrant health. Cheryl supports women with Natural Bone Health, to prevent and reverse osteopenia and osteoporosis, and she leads seasonal cleanse and weight loss programs. She teaches workshops and teleclasses nationally, and works one-on-one with women in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts and across the nation, in-person, by phone and Skype.

To find out more about Cheryl's approach, go to: 

Eat healthily to live longer

No matter what our age, it is always wise to eat healthily and avoid processed foods and fast food.
Here's an article that helps you plan and gives you tips on how to eat healthily without over budgeting.

Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank
By Lienna May  |   Submitted On September 01, 2014 

Recommend ArticleArticle Comments
Share this article on FacebookShare this article on TwitterShare this article on Google+Share this article on LinkedinNowadays, many people like to eat fast food because it is cheaper than preparing their own food. Because eating self-prepared real food is generally healthier, the average person on-the-go is missing out on healthy eating and suffering enormous health consequences. However, it is possible to stay healthy by not spending much more money while enjoying real food. Real food is any food that does not have any chemical additives or genetically modified ingredients. Real food is food that is healthy, nutritious, delicious, and best of all, minimally processed.
Here are some steps on how to eat real food without breaking the bank:

First Step - Set a Goal
First of all, you should set eating real food as a goal; keeping this in mind will help you stay on track and will help you remember why you are dedicating yourself to better health in the first place. Without setting a goal - you are not going anywhere.
It is the same as trying to save money to go on a vacation. You need to have a goal first, envision it by picturing it in your mind, and then you will find the ways to achieve it. Envision what you would like to achieve; whether it is to lose some weight, feel better, have more energy, teach your children to eat better, get rid of allergies, etc. With your goal in mind, do not forget to celebrate each step in the process along the way.

Second Step - Plan Ahead
Make a list of meals that you would like to make in the coming weeks and buy the ingredients to make it. If you go to the grocery store, do not forget to bring this list of what you need to buy and stick to it. Do not purchase something that was not on your list. This will help you avoid overspending and stick to your budget.
I usually write items I need to buy throughout the week and put them in my iPhone. A great iPhone application that I use to create my shopping lists is called "Shopping List Free." Anything to make your life easier!

Third Step - Buy Things on Sale
Buy items when they are "Buy One Get One Free" (BOGO) are on sale, or are in-season. Especially remember to buy fresh produce that is in-season. These are always the freshest, most tastiest and nutritious produce items that you can buy. Remember that you can always freeze or dehydrate these items and use them later in the year. Also, when item are in-season, it's a great time to spend your money wisely. For example, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are a lot cheaper when they are in season. Buy in bulk, freeze, and enjoy later.

Coupons are great, but a lot of them are for highly processed foods. You can save money in the short-term. However, you will lose this money later in doctor's office visits. For an example of a grocery store that sells less highly processed foods, Whole Foods, along with Trader Joe's, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare and other places are great stores to shop healthy, tasty, and affordable. Whole Foods runs some good sales, you can download their coupons online.

Fourth Step - Plant a Garden
I know that not everyone has a "green thumb." So, no worries here. Just do your best. If gardening is not your thing, do not stress out, use your time and energy somewhere else.
I have my own little herb garden. And, I love it because it is fun to see things grow. It is very convenient to grab some fresh herbs and put them in my meals anytime I want. Plus, the taste is phenomenal! I am saving a couple of dollars each week. It all adds up quick. Saving $20 per week ends up being $960 in a year - which is a vacation trip for my family! Want to find extra money around the holidays? Then, plant a garden throughout the year.

Fifth Step - Buy in Bulk
Amazon offers grocery items in bulk at a great price. You can stock up on your pantry items: grains, spices, oil, oatmeal, coffee et cetera. If your family has Amazon Prime, you will always get free shipping and 2 days delivery. Amazon Prime will save you money and save you a trip to a grocery store. This service will especially help you if you are living in a rural area where stores like Whole Foods, Earth Fare or Trader Joe's are nowhere to be found.

Sixth Step - Less Meat - More Greens
Please, I want you to know that I am not against meat. In fact, I love meat. But, our plates at home have less meat and more salad and vegetables on them. It is easier for your stomach's natural acids and enzymes to digest meat if it accompanied with salad or vegetables.
We are eating less meat, but the meat we do eat is grass-fed and without antibiotics or other additives. Organic meat is best, but not everyone can afford the price.
Remember, the journey of a one-thousand miles begins with a single step. In fact, in the long run, all small steps will make a difference. The only way to fail is to never try. Good luck on your journey to better health using real food as your vehicle to a better lifestyle.

If you would like to make a difference in your health and find out more helpful tips and recipes, please visit this website

Lifetime of Fitness...

Read this article and wow its so timely.
I realise that I am ageing and that I need to exercise more.
The following article just adds to my belief that exercising regularly will delay ageing. Read on.

 Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?
Date:August 27, 2014
Source:American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging. "An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system," said the lead study author. "A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself."

Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up) appearing in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).
It long has been assumed that aging causes an inevitable deterioration of the body and its ability to function, as well as increased rates of related injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures; diseases, such as obesity and diabetes; and osteoarthritis and other bone and joint conditions. However, recent research on senior, elite athletes suggests usage of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health.
"An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system," said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD. "A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself."
The positive effects of physical activity on maintaining bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function, and cartilage volume are keys to optimal physical function and health. In addition, the literature recommends a combined physical activity regimen for all adults encompassing resistance, endurance, flexibility and balance training, "as safely allowable for a given person." Among the recommendations:
Resistance training. Prolonged, intense resistance training can increase muscle strength, lean muscle and bone mass more consistently than aerobic exercise alone. Moderately intense resistance regimens also decrease fat mass. Sustained lower and upper body resistance training bolsters bone density and reduces the risk of strains, sprains and acute fractures.
Endurance training. Sustained and at least moderately intensive aerobic training promotes heart health, increases oxygen consumption, and has been linked to other musculoskeletal benefits, including less accumulation of fat mass, maintenance of muscle strength and cartilage volumes. A minimum of 150 to 300 minutes a week of endurance training, in 10 to 30 minute episodes, for elite senior athletes is recommended. Less vigorous and/or short-duration aerobic regimens may provide limited benefit.

Flexibility and balance. Flexibility exercises are strongly recommended for active older adults to maintain range of motion, optimize performance and limit injury. Two days a week or more of flexibility training -- sustained stretches and static/non-ballistic (non-resistant) movements -- are recommended for senior athletes. Progressively difficult postures (depending on tolerance and ability) are recommended for improving and maintaining balance.
The study also recommends "proper" nutrition for older, active adults to optimize performance. For senior athletes, a daily protein intake of 1.0 to 1.5 g/kg is recommended, as well as carbohydrate consumption of 6 to 8 g/kg (more than 8 g/kg in the days leading up to an endurance event).
"Regimens must be individualized for older adults according to their baseline level of conditioning and disability, and be instituted gradually and safely, particularly for elderly and poorly conditioned adults," said Dr. Vopat. According to study authors, to improve fitness levels and minimize bone and joint health decline, when safely allowable, patients should be encouraged to continually exceed the minimum exercise recommendations.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.