Tag Archive for: Pilates for bone health

What do we know for sure?
Resistance exercise stimulates not only muscle but bone formation.

How?
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!

 

 

 

 

 

  

I was honored to present at the 23rd Annual Health Living Retreat for Women sponsored by the Stanford Health Improvement program which is part of the School of Medicine. My workshop entitled BoneSmart: Movement Strategies to improve Posture, Balance and Bone Strength was attended by an enthusiastic audience of Stanford Alumni who are interested in aging strong.

My sister Mercedes flew from New York to serve as my right hand assistant. We enjoyed engaging conversations with many of the alum and took advantage of the beautiful surroundings at Fallen Leaf Lake. Amidst much laughter we hiked, kayaked, and ate healthily and abundantly!

It is a privilege to be able to give participants the ability to change the course of their lives through BoneSmart Pilates workshops.

Enjoy the video highlights above. I had so much fun sharing with this lively, smart and inquisitive group of women. If you know of a group that would like to host this workshop, please contact me by replying to this email.

Description of my BoneSmart Workshop below.

“1 in 2 women over 50 will experience an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime (NOF 2005) Despite common misconceptions, this is not just a concern for the elderly. This workshop will provide an overview of the scientific research and current guidelines to improve your bone density and decrease your fracture risk. Learn 5 simple strategies you can apply right away to improve your muscle and bone strength, posture and balance.”

link to featured video for April

You asked.   We listened! 

Our new and updated spacious Prop Bundle Bag now holds not only all your BoneSmart Pilates props but also a mat if you have one. Includes a convenient outer pocket for smaller items like toiletries, a book or iPad. You can win one of these terrific bags filled with goodies this month!

To win this prop bag, please forward this email to a friend or acquaintance of yours who might be interested in joining the BoneSmart Pilates® community! Just click below

Prop bag contains

  • 2 half tennis balls for a soothing foot massage,
  • Long resistance band for strengthening and stretching exercises (your choice of light, medium or heavy resistance)
  • Ankle resistance loop to tone your hips and legs (choose from light or medium strength)
  • A bead filled moldable hot/cold pack to soothe aches wherever needed-bundle (bundle valued at $45, mat not included)

BoneSmart Pilates is more than an exercise system. BoneSmart Pilates is a way of life to help you age strong in a supportive community and avoid the common pitfalls encountered with aging.

You will receive one entry in our drawing for every friend that you forward this email to.  We hate spam as much as you and we promise we do not share or sell our email list.

As a professional dancer in NYC with Martha Graham, Pilates was the buzzword for injury prevention and building functional strength and core stability. Taking a recommendation from friends, I sought out training with one of the Pilates elders “Robert Fitzgerald”.  It was 1989, a hot, humid day. His studio, also his living quarters, was on the upper west side of Manhattan. As I entered the studio with all this Pilates equipment that resembled torture devices, I was greeted with Robert’s warm smile and embrace.

I will never forget my first time doing leg circles on the Reformer and thinking  A) how good it felt, and B) how much it replicated a certain move we do in dance. I discovered so many similarities between Pilates exercises and the Martha Graham technique, which is the core vocabulary of the Martha Graham Dance company. It helped me avoid injury and definitely improved my performance.  I took class with Robert regularly and at any given session, he’d have 4-5 people there, many of them luminaries from theater and dance, entering at different times overlapping each other. We all knew our warm ups and he’d offer suggestions and corrections as he supervised our workouts. We were very independent.  I felt stronger than ever!

picture of resolutions with valentinesIt’s February – a little over a month into 2017!  Are you keeping your resolutions to make positive and healthy changes in your life?    Here are some hints from Forbes Magazine and Psychologist Dr. Paul Marciano.
  • Make your goals specific.  People proclaim, “I’m finally going to get in shape.” But what does that actually mean?
  • Measure progress.  “If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of psychology.
  • Be patient.  Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts.
  • Share your goals with friends and family. Social support is critical. Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to dramatically increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you.
  • Schedule it.  Have you ever said you can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time, we choose time. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food or going to a spin class. Make your new goals a priority and actually schedule them into your calendar.
  • Something is better than nothing.  Are you guilty of “all or nothing” thinking?
  • Get up, when you slip up.  Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Resiliency is paramount. Don’t turn temporary failures into total meltdowns or excuses for giving up.

Sakinah Salahu-Din hails from Ohio and has been a dedicated and consistent user of my DVD – BoneSmart Pilates® Exercise to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis.

“My daughter asked me to share this feedback with you because she’s watched my transformation and felt it was important enough to share with others.  I am 71 years old and was having arm and neck problems when I started using this program in January 2016.  The shoulder and neck pain affected me to the point that I could not do certain exercises without modifying the range of motion or making the resistance band less taut.  About two months ago, however, I was able to do the resistance band exercises with full range of motion, with stronger resistance and remarkably, with no pain!   
I like the fact that BoneSmart addresses pain or weakness in arms, hips, back, and knees which is what many people my age have problems with.  I also like that the program is set up in a way that I can break it into parts.  For example, I do the resistance band upper body program and the hip blaster 3 days a week and MAT exercises 2 days a week. I’ve gained strength and flexibility and am very pleased with this program and the positive results that I am experiencing.”

Rozz came to me with very kyphotic posture and a desire to not follow in her mother’s mold. Her determination has paid off. Watch her 30 second clip. She’s made dramatic improvements with strength and postural mindfulness. Way to go Rozz!

There is nothing like the stretch-eze® to give you feedback while you do your Pilates work to build bone and reverse #osteoporosis.

This individual nylon lycra stretch band developed by dance/movement therapist Kimberly Dye, is used for resistance and stretch exercises. Wrap it around your shoulders and put in your feet. Feel snug, supported, and able to press into the resistance to create a cleaner access to the intrinsic core muscles with no build up of tension.

The benefits realized from using the Stretch-eze ® resistance band are:

  • supported and pain free exercise
  • increased ligament strength at the joints
  • increased overall body coordination

This video explores the opposite arm leg reach with the stretch-eze® to enhance connection in your body and provide sensory feedback.    You can purchase a stretch-eze® on my website!

This DVD, created by a physical therapist, addresses exercise that targets common areas of decline as we age. It moves a a faster pace than its precursor, “BoneSmart Pilates®: Exercise to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis”. It is a perfect gift for yourself or someone you know that wants to age with strength and grace. Though challenging, it is safe for those with special conditions as well as osteopenia or osteoporosis. Bonus Posture Segment demonstrates how to achieve ideal sitting posture with ease.