• The holidays!

    It is finally December and the holidays are here!  I love the feeling of running through my neighborhood with all of the houses decorated and Christmas trees peeking out the front windows.  I also love the holiday music that seems to pop up everywhere from department stores to car radios.  What I love most about the holidays however is that it is a break in between sports seasons.  While I have always LOVED being a runner and thrived of the intensity of the fall cross-country, winter indoor track and then spring track, I also needed and fully appreciated the break that came right around the holidays.


    This was a time that I could really run just for the enjoyment of it.  I would go out to the trails and run for however long I felt whether it was 3 miles or 10, just to maintain some fitness for the winter track season that would start in January.  It was stress-free running with no worries of conference championships or competitive speed workouts. …

  • Championship Season

    As fall comes closer to an end, the wrap of this season’s sports are finishing as well.  Championship races, games and competitions are happening almost every day.  This is the most important time in your sport to pay attention to the details.  You don’t want to look back the last game of the season with regrets, so making sure you are at your best requires a little extra planning.


    Making sure you stretch well after practice to avoid injury, getting psyched up with motivating songs and inspirational movies, visualizing yourself doing well in your competition and buzzing with teammates are some examples of what should be happening before the final games and races of the season.  Most importantly however, this is no time to neglect nutrition.

  • What Is the Primary Prevention of Osteoporosis?

    According to public health, there are three steps to prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention is the first level of defense and is all about preventing the disease from actually occurring. Primary preventions are actions to prevent the any presence of a disease and comes in the form of reducing risks that cause a disease or educating on how to prevent a disease. Secondary prevention starts when a disease is present in the body, but shows no signs or symptoms. Secondary prevention catches the early onset of a disease, usually through screening and tackles it before it gets worse. Tertiary prevention is geared towards treating or managing a disease and helping people find ways to live with it and prevent it from causing further damage or even death.

    Today I’m tackling primary osteoporosis prevention. Keeping strong bones is the key to primary prevention and it’s a pretty easy 1, 2, 3:

    1. Why Are Diet and Exercise Not Included in Fracture Risk Calculations?

      Since 2009, our American Bone Health Fracture Risk Calculator™ has been available and we have been collecting feedback from people who are using it. A common question that people have is why we do not consider diet and exercise in the fracture risk calculation.

      Over the years, researchers studying the risks that contribute to fractures use very large databases of people from around the world. They examined how well a variety of risk factors correlate with fractures. Using this very comprehensive method, they identified several factors that could be strongly linked to fracture risk. Each factor needed to be easily measured and also an independent contributor to the risk calculation. While there are a number of factors that can impact bone health, only a hand full of them by themselves contribute in a meaningful way to the fracture risk formula. Risks such as certain medical conditions and…

    2. What you can do to prevent osteoporosis

      Bone health is something that is often times looked over. Many people think that osteoporosis doesn’t affect them and when they find out that they have been affected, it often is when they are in the hospital receiving care for a fracture or broken bone. But did you know that there is a way to diagnosis osteoporosis and that there are several steps that you can take to prevent bone loss?

      Have you heard of a bone density test? The test is a non-invasion, PAINLESS x-ray procedure that identifies your risk of osteoporosis. It measures the density of your bones and if you are receiving treatment for osteoporosis, your doctor can monitor treatment so you know whether it is working or not. This easy, fast procedure can be done at your health care facility. All women age 65+ and all men 70+ SHOULD receive this test as part of their Medicare Preventive Screenings.

      As a student of public health, I see this to be an imperative issue because often times, people are…

    3. World Osteoporosis Day — How you can raise awareness!

      World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is coming up! American Bone Health is rallying with the International Osteoporosis Foundation to spread awareness of this debilitating disease, but we need your help! On October 20, help us spread awareness by supporting the Unbreakable Embrace Campaign.

      • An online campaign that will be unique to osteoporosis (as the pink ribbon is to breast cancer) and an integral part of the World Osteoporosis Day 2011 campaign.
    4. How do phytates impact calcium absorption?

      Recently, in one of my nutritional science courses, we touched on the subject of antinutrients. An antinutrient is a natural or synthetic compound that interferes with the absorption of a nutrient. One example of an anti-nutrient is phytic acid (or phytate), and it is found in some healthy foods like nuts, grains, and seeds.

      What exactly does phytic acid do? It has a very high affinity for binding minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. When phytic acid binds these minerals, it makes them unavailable for absorption. This means that your calcium intake can be lower than expected if you consume notable amounts of food containing phytates.

      Nuts, grains, and seeds are still very healthy if consumed in moderate proportions. However, something that may be of concern especially to vegetarians and vegans is the phytate content in soy products. Soy actually has the highest phytate content, and there are many people who eat a significant amount of soy in…

    5. How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Class

      I don’t go to yoga as frequently as I would like to, so I try to make every session count. I am a beginner, so I am often shy or feel out of place in class. I’ve come to realize, though, that—especially since my urge to go to yoga is spontaneous and unfortunately infrequent—I should maximize every class session I have. Make your yoga class work for you—instead of you working for the class!

      Once I arrive at my favorite studio, I’m excited for my yoga class right away. I choose a spot, set my mat down, and stretch out or meditate until class starts. I take these few moments to prepare myself for the class.

      First, I take full advantage of my instructor’s vast knowledge on the graceful movements of yoga poses. Tell your yoga instructor of any body conditions that prevent you from doing certain yoga poses. If you have osteoporosis of low bone mass, this includes any pose with forward flexion (rounding your back) or twisting. There are ways to modify all poses…

    6. Is Coffee Bad for Bones?

      I have heard a lot of talk recently about the effect of caffeine on calcium absorption. Some argue that caffeine reduces calcium absorption, so any milk that is in a caffeinated beverage, such as a latte, does not have the normal positive effect on bone health. It was also speculated that a calcium supplement should not be taken with coffee. This was concerning to me since a moderate percentage of the calcium I consume on a regular basis comes from the milk in my coffee drinks; this is also the case for many Americans. I investigated the topic to get some solid research or evidence. What I found was, for the most part, reassuring.

      The majority of the research that I found concludes that caffeine does not have a negative effect on calcium absorption. It is, however, acknowledged that there may be a slight effect for heavy coffee drinkers that take in upwards of four cups of coffee per day, but even this effect would be counteracted by one or two tablespoons of milk. (Check out…

    7. Qualifying

      I had one of my first races on August 27th since the birth of my daughter this past April. The race I was in was called the San Francisco Giants Half Marathon and it was a blast! The race started at the Giants stadium and went to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. My goal was to run at least one hour and fifteen minutes because this time would qualify me for the Olympic Trials for the Marathon coming up this January.

      I ran awesome! I cleared the time I needed by 29 seconds running 1:14:31! Not only did I win the race (well, tied with my coach/friend who is very fast and paced me to be sure I would run the time) but was also very pleased with myself because it was only four and a half months after having my second child.

      What I attribute my success to so quickly after having a baby is directly tied to nutrition. Not only did I take a few energy gels during the race, but the days leading up to the race I was also sure to be very on top of making sure I was eating…