Tag Archive for: Pilates for bone health

Are there times when you’re following along with one of my DVD’s and you aren’t sure you’re doing the exercise correctly?  Or perhaps you aren’t “feeling” the exercise as much as you want to?  Skype Sessions are the answer!  I’ve been teaching them to students who live outside of my region and want a little extra support. It’s a great solution. If you’d like to schedule a Skype Session, just email me!

Why do I sell Pilates Prop Bundles to accompany my DVD’s?  Besides adding fun and variety to your workouts, they have distinct roles. Props provide “assistance” to make difficult exercises, attainable. They provide “resistance” necessary to build muscle and bone strength. The oval myofascial release ball and the 1/2 tennis balls provide stimulation to different areas of your body improving muscle relaxation and blood circulation. The bands in the Aging Strong bundle progress in resistance so when you find that the light resistance band is easy, you progress to the medium band and so on.  The bands are low powder, low latex to reduce sensitivities.  If you were to start with a band of your own that is too strong for a particular exercise, you might get discouraged and think you’re not doing something right. All the props are of the highest quality and selected to support you on your journey to age strong!

mccormickIf you think osteoporosis is an old lady’s disease or that men don’t get it, think again. Meet Keith McCormick, who will not only shatter those misconceptions but will enlighten you on treatment options that don’t rely on big pharma.  In a recent conversation with Dr. Keith McCormick, a chiropractic physician and author of The Whole Body Approach to Osteoporosis, we spoke about the importance of addressing health as a triad – physical, nutritional and emotional – whether it is helping patients maintain good health or working with them to overcome a chronic disease, like osteoporosis. “Osteoporosis is not just the weakening of bones; it is a weakening of the body’s entire physiology,” Keith explained. “When you have a chronic disease, you have to treat your whole body.”

Overcoming a chronic disease is exactly what Dr. McCormick did. In between getting his degree in Human Biology at Stanford University and going to Chiropractic school, he competed in elite triathlon competitions including the Ironman Triathlon World Championships and was chosen to participate on the 1976 U.S.A. Olympic Team in Montreal, Canada. He maintained his fitness into adulthood and then sustained 12 fractures in a short 5-year period after he was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 45. He immersed himself in the study of osteoporosis and – using the triad approach – went on to find ways to fight it and recover to the point where he could once again compete in triathlon competitions including the World Championships in Hawaii. His story of recovery is truly remarkable, he is the epitome of resilience and aging strong. I would recommend reading his book and checking out his web site, www.osteonaturals.com.

Exercise such as my BoneSmart Pilates® program, can be most successful when we provide the body with all the nutrients necessary for building good strong bone tissue. That only makes sense, and Dr. McCormick has addressed this need through his OsteoNaturals’ nutritional supplements that he formulated specific to improving bone health.

The thing I like about Keith is that when I read through his blogs he really drives home the foundation of good bone health: good diet, healthy life-style choices, exercise and taking steps to promote healthy gut function. He sees bone health through a unique prism that I rarely see in doctors when they treat osteoporosis. Just reading about some of his amazing adventures on his blog also shows that he values the emotional part of the health triad. Having a positive outlook and engaging in life to its fullest, in addition to exercise and nutrition, is truly important for bone and overall good health.

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.

Just Move!

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

Connect

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.

When one of my clients told me her sister fractured her back doing rollover during a Pilates class, I was disturbed. Though the instructor knew there was a diagnosis of osteoporosis, she was not aware of the movement contraindications for her client. This woman experienced a vertebral fracture that was totally preventable.

The statistics are out there, and they’re scary. 70% of people with osteoporosis or osteopenia are undiagnosed. They don’t even know they have it and many of them are probably in your classes. We, as Pilates instructors, need to be fully informed, not only about what is contraindicated, but what we can proactively do to help this growing population stay healthy, strong and fracture-free.  Read more