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Cultivate your strength and balance in under 3 minutes with this new fun and challenging standing kitchen counter series.  Try it first without the resistance band, and when comfortable, add the resistance loop for greater challenge.  Safe for those with back issues and osteoporosis. If you don’t have a loop, tie a resistance band around your thighs.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I hear – I just don’t have time to get to a fitness class as often as I want to.     Here’s a quick workout that you can do in your kitchen.   It’s a short, time efficient standing workout you can do in your kitchen between latte’s! This workout targets hip and leg strength, core, flexibility and balance – great for when you’re tight on time and want a quick fix!   Let me know how you like it!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.