• Osteoporosis Is More Than Just a Number

    By Risa Kagan, MD, FACOG, CCD, NCMP (Member, Medical and Scientific Advisory Board)

    I have been working in the bone world for many years. I know it’s challenging for consumers to keep up with the emerging science and research, so here is a look at where we came from and where we are now.

    Advances in medicine over the past several decades have helped us live longer, and because many women previously didn’t live long past menopause, we didn’t know the impact of the loss of estrogen on bone mass.

  • Load up your workout with weight-bearing exercise

    By Wendy Kohrt, PhD (Member, Medical and Scientific Advisory Board)

    We often hear that weight-bearing activity is critical for bone health, but many people don’t know what that means or how to achieve it. If you watch children play, they’ve got it right! Running, jumping and cartwheeling are the kinds of activities that help them build bone.

    Weight bearing, or loading, adds a stress to the bones that stimulates bone building. The load slightly compresses the bone matrix and triggers the cells to take in more calcium and other minerals, and ultimately to increase bone density. The amount of weight that causes this response from the bone is called “osteogenic loading” because it takes a certain “load” to stimulate the bone-building cells.…

  • Why Calcium Is Important and How You Can Incorporate It into Your Diet

    By Shirin Hooshmand,  PhD (Member, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board)

    Whenever I speak with consumers about bone health, they always have the most questions about calcium!

    Calcium is one of the most important and plentiful minerals in the body. When calcium combines with phosphate, it becomes the material that makes the bones and teeth strong. We also need calcium for transmitting nerve impulses, contracting muscles and clotting blood.

  • Putting Pep in Your 3-Day Step

    By Sally Warner, PhD

    Walking can be such a mindless activity. But when you embark on a 60-mile walk, you really need to be mindful of your body and support your walk with intention. You can improve your walk by training to increase your speed and reduce injury.

    The walking cycle

    Walking is a coordinated effort of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. The cycle of how a person walks is called the gait. There are two phases to the gait cycle:

    • The time a foot is on the ground is called the “stance” and makes up 60% of the cycle.
    • The motion of the foot off of the ground is called the “swing.”

    During the stance phase, there are four motions that involve the foot:

    1. The heel strikes the ground.
    2. The entire foot contacts the ground.
    3. The heel lifts, placing weight on the ball of the foot.
    4. The big toe helps propel the lift and swing.

    The swing phase has two characteristics:

    1. acceleration into the swing,
    2. deceleration into placement of the heel for the next step.
  • Spine Fracture Awareness

    Bone health rarely becomes a topic of conversation, even when someone breaks a bone.

    Typically, fracture patients blame their clumsiness or carelessness, but rarely question whether their bones should have been strong enough to withstand the break in the first place.

    Fractures may seem incidental, but in fact, fractures can be a painful warning that your entire skeletal structure is deteriorating.  Bone loss increases after age 45 and continues as we age.

  • Lower Risk for Heart Disease? Better Cognitive Health? Yes, please!

    Thanks to Jackie Osborne, physical therapist from Jacksonville, FL and Peer Educator Extraordinaire, we have a wonderful exercise tip for heart month.

    Adults who are physically active have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, dementia, colon cancer and breast cancer (1) than those who are sedentary. Additionally, physically active people have higher functional abilities, a lower risk of falling, and better cognitive health (1).

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or engage in at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week (2) to reap the benefits of physical activity.  But even if you are ready to commit to such recommendations it can be a challenge to truly understand…

  • iHunch

    The iHunch or text-neck, call it what you will, it is still plain old bad posture and can literally be a pain in the neck. The reason for including this topic is that the “condition” appears to be getting worse and it is not isolated to the under 30 crowd. I know this may not seem like the latest news; however considering the numerous Pinterest boards, I can’t be far off base. More people than ever are texting and reading on their cell phones.

    We know that good posture is necessary for avoiding undue stress on the spine — actually all muscles and joints — and to aid in better breathing and digestion. We should all take a moment every day to check our posture and to remind those around us why good posture is so important. If we all practice the healthy habits of bone health each week, they will become an automatic, natural part of our lives.

    So what’s good posture? I think the Mayo clinic has an excellent description: When you’re…

  • Kids, Fuel Your Sport!

    I was quite small and thin for my age when I was thirteen. That’s when I started running

    I first made the connection that the fast runners were the skinny runners when a girl who I used to beat all the time beat me after she lost a lot of weight. I thought if I could stay small I would run faster, so I avoided fat.

    I didn’t pay attention to the girls who were bigger and stronger, but those girls continued to compete throughout college and then into the professional world, while the skinny unhealthy girls usually fell off the map. In fact, the girl I mentioned had career ending stress fractures less than a year later.

  • Why Get Your Vitamin D Every Day?

    The importance of getting enough calcium for strong bones has always been reinforced in my life.  I have never really had a hard time drinking enough milk because I love it.  Later in my life I learned that drinking milk may not be enough, that the recommendation 1,000-1,300mg per day might not benefiting my bones if I was not ALSO getting the recommended amount of vitamin D to help the calcium do it’s job. WHAT?! 

    Fast forward to today when I have fallen in love (yes LOVE!) with exercise and nutrition, and how the body uses both to orchestrate the operation of multiple systems every minute of every day.  I decided to go back to school a few years ago and finish my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, surrounding myself with new information all the time.

    I was reading through a newsletter published by the National Academy of Sports…