What do we know for sure?
Resistance exercise stimulates not only muscle but bone formation.
When you do resistance training that’s more intense than what your muscles come to expect (like lifting more than your purse), the tendons that attach muscle to bone, pull on your bones stimulating the bones to respond. Depending on your age and the workouts, “it can either increase or maintain bone mass density” according to Steven Hawkins, PhD, professor of exercise science at California Lutheran University.
Which is Better-Weights or Bands?
Resistance training in all forms is good for our bones and in one Connecticut study, it didn’t seem to matter whether you used weights or bands, they all produced positive results for bone in general. Evidence by a recent a study in Taiwan of women over 60 y/o doing resistance band training for 40 min 3x/wk for 12 weeks demonstrated that elastic resistance band exercise resulted in increased bone mineral density.
Lots of Options
There are many options out there to increase strength such as: machines at the gym, dumbbells, your own body weight and resistance bands. In my BoneSmart Pilates® Osteoporosis and Aging Strong DVD’s, I chose to use resistance bands versus weights to build muscle and bone strength for a simple reason. Bands are lightweight and portable (so you can travel with them) and they’re inexpensive compared to gym equipment.
What is weight bearing exercise?
Weight bearing exercise is exercise in which you are supporting your own body weight through your feet and legs or hands and arms. Weight bearing exercise is proven to be essential for maintaining and building bone. When we combine standing weight bearing exercise with resistance band training, we challenge our balance, agility and coordination-key components for preventing falls. Falling is a concern for us as we age, including those of us with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Remember that 1 of 2 women over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime (NOF) and most of those fractures result from falls.
It’s important to note that after we hit 30, our biological balance of bone building and bone breakdown tips towards bone loss. If you’re sedentary and not getting adequate weight bearing and resistance exercise, your bones will pay. Add to that the arrival of menopause, where a drop in estrogen causes a big drop in bone density and you have a recipe of swiss cheese for bones.
The good news is, studies show during post menopause that with just 2 resistance workouts per week, we can slow down or even halt our bone loss. As we age we need to be vigilant about our overall health in general and our bone health in particular.
My BoneSmart Pilates Aging Strong series targets areas of decline as we age – including hip and leg strength, spine strength, bone strength and balance. The workouts in all my DVD’s capitalize on resistance to build muscle and bone strength. With my researched approach as a physical therapist, “Movement becomes your Medicine”. The workouts are designed to be safe for people with osteoporosis, herniated discs, chronic pain or general back and joint issues.
The BoneSmart Pilates® Aging Strong Enhanced Prop Bundle that accompanies my Aging Strong Pilates DVD’s includes among other things:
- 3 resistance bands of varied strength, for increasing upper and lower body strength (and flexibility) These 5 foot long resistance bands are low-protein and powder-free, reducing skin irritation and making them ideal for sensitive users.
- 2 resistance ankle loops of light and stronger resistance. These smaller cousins of the long bands pack quite a workout for your hips and legs and because you’re not tying a long band around your ankles, there’s no risk of tripping on a loose end that could come undone.
To summarize, Bands do Build Bone. I still include hand weights and Pilates machines like the Reformer and Cadillac for my studio clients for interest and variety but there’s nothing like putting your bands and loops in a zip lock bag, slipping that into your purse and having your workout with you wherever you go!
No matter your stage in life, keeping fit is essential to doing the things you love with ease, power and grace. In this class, you’ll increase body awareness and learn healthy functional movement strategies grounded in science. Expect improved posture, injury prevention, coordination, core strength, flexibility and balance with crossover benefits to your daily sports and activities. This class is appropriate for beginner to advanced intermediate levels. If you have low bone density, weight bearing exercises are incorporated and safe mat variations will be offered.
Please bring your own mat. Various small props are used to enhance your movement experience. Also bring a resistance band and 9 inch inflatable ball if you have them. Balls are offered free of charge to new participants. Low allergy/low latex 5 ft resistance bands are available for purchase in class for $10. Free video links will be made available for participants to encourage consistency of practice. The instructor, Teresa Maldonado Marchok, is a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, former professional dancer and ambassador for American Bone Health. She believes exercise should be challenging yet fun so bring a flexible mind, open heart and be prepared to laugh! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To foster a safe, cohesive and consistent environment, drop in sessions are not permitted, however a trial class at no initial cost for newcomers is allowed if the class is not full already.
This is a common question I hear. With so much focus on sitting and electronics, kids’ posture and their bodies, are paying a heavy toll. I call it “iposture” and it’s ubiquitous. The good news is the majority of Pilates matwork is beneficial for and adaptable to kids.
My daughter Katelyn recently presented a school research project about the benefits of Pilates. See her demonstrating the mat exercise “Rolling Like a Ball” which targets core strength, spine flexibility, control, precision, breath and flow.
The chart below is a nice way to explain Pilates to kids. (courtesy of the PMA)
Falling can happen to anyone. I fell on some icy steps in 2015, and shared this video, so you could see how I worked out 1 week after surgery, with one arm that basically didn’t move!
Teresa fell HARD on icy steps in NY. Though her bones are healthy and remained intact, she sustained a full rupture of a rotator cuff tendon, one of the key players that stabilizes the arm bone in its socket.
So you know that she “walks her talk”, this video clip gives you a sneak peek into what she can and can’t do 1 wk after rotator cuff surgical repair. Even with her shoulder out of commission, the versatility of Pilates allows her to stay strong and agile providing healing circulation and feel good endorphin release to all parts of her body. She’ll also let you in on the little she can do with her arm out of her sling.
Can you guess her secret to maintaining sanity in the middle of her sleepless nights? Watch the end to find out!
Dr. Keith McCormick connected with me recently as a health care professional who also specializes in osteoporosis. I sent Dr. McCormick a copy of the BoneSmart Pilates® DVD and and asked him to let me know what he thought. He was thrilled to find: “…exactly what I have been looking for for my patients with osteoporosis…this DVD will help you to tone your muscles, keep your joints supple, and stimulate bone strengthening..all while having fun…It is the best exercise video for people with osteoporosis that I have seen.”
Read Dr. McCormick’s full review of the BoneSmart Pilates® DVD on his website here.
|Pilates for Boomers
5:30 PM-6:30 PM
Instructor: Teresa Maldonado Marchok
Location: Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC), Studio 111
|REGISTRATION STARTS 03/18|
| BeWell Fitness Berry
Category: Fitness : Pilates Mat/Healthy Back
Levels: All Levels
|Fee: 110.00 (BeWell Fee: $30) , STAP/EA Funds: No
Class Code: pfb-01
Easy ways to get started right away!
With the start of the New Year, it’s typically a time to reassess ourselves and our habits. Do you have a healthy habit you’d like to adopt? Most of us do. The tough part is getting started. That’s why I’ve pulled together these simple but effective tips to help you jump start five smart habits–eating breakfast, drinking more water, moving more, connecting, and getting a better night’s sleep. Choose one to get started. And when you’re ready, put them all together to give your everyday health an amazing boost.
Say Yes to Breakfast
The payoff: Eating breakfast fuels your body and brain for a truly good morning. It also helps jump-start your metabolism, which may be one reason that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than those who skip it. Your best start: Choose foods you’ll look forward to–there are many more choices beyond plain-old cereal. Try plain or vanilla yoghurt with fresh berries. I start my mornings with fruit and veggie smoothies-my Vitamix is my workhorse for providing a healthy start for the whole family.
Just Add Water
The payoff: Every cell in your body contains water. Staying well hydrated can prevent headaches, moodiness, loss of focus, and muscle fatigue. Your best start: Carry a refillable bottle of water with you at all times–in your bag, in your car, on the job, and at the gym. If it’s handy, you’ll sip it. (I must admit I’m terrible in this area but will try to do better this year) Also, eat more fruits and vegetables, which contain lots of water. (Did you know that 91 percent of the weight of broccoli comes from water?) Remember that other water-based beverages count too.
The payoff: The more you move, the more calories you burn. An active lifestyle can also improve your mood, appearance, and overall health. Your best start: Carry a pedometer (or fitbit or other such gadget) and make it a game to increase the number of steps you take each day. Some easy boosts:
- At work: Keep a small water glass that you have to refill often, instead of a large water bottle, on your desk. Use the stairs, not the elevator. Pace while on the phone.
- At home: Put things away in multiple small trips rather than one big haul. Use your foam roller or resistance band as you watch TV. View 6 roller exercises to start your year right Watch a resistance band hip and leg series for strength and flexibility
- Out and about: Walk that grocery cart back to it’s station rather than tucking it over a curb. Park in a remote corner of parking lots when running errands. Take the stairs when you can. On planes choose the aisle seat to more easily get up often.
- Do what you love: What ever your passion is, gardening, hiking, Pilates, dance, yoga. Mix it up so your body will benefit from the variety. See a short Sneak Preview of the BoneSmart Pilates® DVD
The payoff: Regular and meaningful connection with friends, family, volunteering all improve your levels of stress, and release feel good hormones. Your best start: Write a letter, make a phone call. Enjoy a walk in the park or a hike in the woods with a buddy. Volunteering and focusing on helping others helps you as well.
Sleep Better Tonight
The payoff: Getting a good night’s rest boosts energy and improves immunity. It’s also been associated with heart health and a longer life span. Your best start: Create a calming routine. At the end of the workday, write in a journal or create a to-do list for tomorrow, so you won’t worry you’ll forget something. Reading a few pages in a book or playing Words with Friends usually knocks me out pretty quickly. As you prepare for bed, dim the lights and quiet any loud noises. Following the same pre-bedtime routine each night can help you drift off more easily.
The BoneSmart Pilates® Youtube channel was created for women with low bone density as well as those with healthy bones that want to keep them that way! Who are you? You are in the best and last third of your life and you are ready to commit to a healthier you. Subscribe to this channel to receive free helpful clips that support you in living the life you want.
This channel is for YOU, so if there is something you want to see or need help with, let me know in the comments section below.