4 Things You Need to Know About Bone Health and Exercise

Need to Know #1: What is Osteoporosis and How Many People are Affected by it?

Osteoporosis is the condition of having bones which have weakened to the point of being at risk of fracturing. It is estimated to affect 200 million people worldwide, most of them being postmenopausal women.

In the image above you can see how healthy bone has a very dense and strong matrix, while the osteoporotic bone has much larger holes which increases its risk of breaking.

Degradation of healthy bones is inevitable over time but you can have a much greater quality of life by building up as much Bone Mineral Density (the quantification of how dense and strong your bones are) before you begin to lose it.

Of course, you’re going to need to consume the building blocks of strong bones in order to grow them.  So, what foods can you eat to support your bone health?

 

Need to Know #2: What Foods can You Eat to Have Stronger Bones?

While most people think that milk alone will build strong bones, not many know that green fruits and vegetables also contribute to maintaining bone health. Green apples, green grapes and kiwis (along with the foods pictured above) contain Vitamin K which has been found to aid in preventing osteoporosis.

However… while the research has been conflicting supplementing Vitamin D, Calcium, and Vitamin K whether in pill or powder form is not proven to build stronger bones.  According to recent (2015) meta analyses these vitamins and nutrients need to be taken in from whole foods, not lone supplements.

Drinking whole milk allows you to absorb the Vitamin D because Vitamin D (along with A, E, and K) are fat soluble vitamins. Meaning, our bodies CANNOT absorb them unless they are eaten with fatty foods, such as eggs or other animal products.

So, the next time you’re eating kale make sure to eat some chicken with it (or some bacon, it’s ok if you eat bacon once in a while).

By this point you’re probably wondering, “But what about exercise?”

 

Need to Know #3: What About Exercise?

Exercising as little as once a week has a positive effect on bone health! But, what if your time is limited? What if you’re in a risk group and want to maximize your bone density before it starts to degrade? Is your training the best it can be to help you reach this goal?

As you can assume, lifting heavy weights and engaging in high intensity resistance training puts stress on your bones, tendons and ligaments.  This stress acts as a stimulus which tells your body that you need to have sturdier bones and (if you are well-nourished) will result in greater bone mineral density.

And yet, strength training is only the second best method found for building stronger bones.  The best method of training is actually Power Training.  Power training involves explosive movements and absorbing a fair amount of impact.  You can perform explosive movements and absorb impact without weights by jumping, sprinting and changing direction, or performing other plyometrics.  However, you’ll get the greatest stimulus to get stronger (muscles and bones) by performing power training with weights.  The Power Clean is my favorite example, and is pictured below.

(Important: Don’t perform any complicated exercises like the power clean unless you’ve had a coach teach you the proper form)

Need to Know #4: So, What Should You Take Away From This?

To highlight the importance of the more critical points be sure to get your vitamins from whole foods instead of pills; be sure to add some power training to your training regimen; and obviously, spend less time sitting.  Sitting is the new smoking, and the more time you spend at rest the weaker your bones will get.  For the sake of your physical health break up your day by exercising.  If you work a sedentary desk job make the effort to get out of your chair and walk around for just ten minutes.  

None of us are perfect and no one expects you to be perfect, but if you can commit to one of the key points of this article and nothing else, that’s at least something. Make small commitments, build up some momentum, and slowly get better and better.

 

-Coach Andreas

Two years ago my Bedstemør (Danish for Grandma) fell down and broke her wrist.  She then went to a doctor in the emergency room and if you’ve ever been to a Danish hospital, you’d know that all the new doctors are put in the ER so they can learn about all different sorts of injuries people come in with.  Unfortunately my Bedstemor got a very new doctor and had her broken wrist set improperly. She then had to go back to find a better doctor who could then set her wrist again(which was very painful as you can imagine) and then had to spend months recovering.

As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist I know what could have been done to prevent all of that from happening.  However there is a worldwide stigma that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, or that weightlifting is only for big dumb guys who lift things up and put them down.  My greatest accomplishment of last year was getting my mom to sign up for personal training and give her a chance to avoid the scenario her mother was forced to go through, while also reaping all the other benefits that come with exercise.  I hope with this article and my continued work in the fitness industry I can help more people take preventative action to improve the quality of their lives.

Interested in training with Andreas? Click here for more information on how you can get scheduled with a strategy session.

I Don’t Believe in Motivation!

How do I stay “motivated”?

Recently, many have asked how do I stay motivated all the time.  There must  be a secret potion or pill you can take to remain motivated.  In reality, I don’t believe in motivation.  It is not about being motivated but living a healthy lifestyle.  It is about making training and eating well apart of your life. When those habits become as automatic as brushing your teeth, who needs motivation?

How do we get there? Where do we start? It sounds difficult! When we’re overwhelmed, we tend to continue the same vicious cycle we’re on. However, I am here to help break that cycle and provide some direction on ways of creating healthier habits that are apart of your life like brushing your teeth.

 

Find your WHY!

The best way to get started is finding your WHY. We all want to be healthier, to feel better, to move better but why? What is your purpose? Ask yourself these questions and dig down deep to create a strong connection to becoming a healthier you.  Creating a specific and intrinsic why will form a greater connection and will result in a lasting habit.  Do some digging and create an internal why as opposed to using punishment or rewards to keep you “motivated”.

Find what will make you happy and what is important to you, not your coach or the person working out next to you, but you! By looking inside you will be reminded of what you want, as opposed to what everyone else wants.  Making a specific connection to your “why” will keep you focused as the new habit develops (99U.com).

 

How to put your WHY into action:

Now you have your WHY (a reason behind a new habit), let’s make it lasting! How do you make it automatic, a part of your daily routine, how long will it take? Any change to your daily routine will be challenging because there are several distractions and you’re breaking something that is already automatic. Instead of throwing out certain habits to replace new ones, create behavior changes to the already existing habit.  Sticking to a new habit will be easier if you incorporate it to your current routine.  Multiple studies confirm this to be successful when developing a new habit. For example, your new habit might be to “eat breakfast with my coffee”. Instead, try “with my coffee, I will eat an apple & oatmeal.” You are no longer relying on will power but connected your new habit of “eat breakfast” to a current habit “morning coffee.” Start out with a small habit you are connected to.  It will take daily practice but living a healthier and happier life is worth it.

Interested in learning how to make habit changes? Email us at BodySpaceFitness@gmial.com to take advantage of Precision Nutrition Counseling with one of our coaches!


Creating a new habit takes time and it is important to remember the process. It takes an average of 66 days to create a lasting habit not the 21-day myth.  This is according to new research by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre based at UCL Epidemiology and Public Health. The team of researchers completed a groundbreaking investigation on how people form habits.  The research explains key factors in creating new habits and breaking old ones (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/). The research found that it took people an average of 66 days to reach a point of self automaticity to perform the new behavior.  In the beginning visualize yourself performing the new habit automatically and connect an emotion to it.  How will you fill when this new habit becomes as routine as brushing your teeth? This will also help you focus on developing the new behavior.

Making changes that you want require time and commitment but as habits become routine, you will no longer need to rely on motivation.  As you continue to develop healthy habits, remember to be kind to yourself and to take one day at a time (APA.org).  It will be challenging, but you can do it.  You deserve to live life ane healthiest and best version of you. Be specific, be patient and enjoy the process to creating a healthy lifestyle free of motivation.

 

~Coach Sarah

Meet Coach Sarah on the turf Wednesday and Friday evenings. Click here to schedule with her!




Resources:

American Psychological Association. 2017. Making Lifestyle Changes That Last. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.aspx

Gregory Ciotti. 2017.  5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick. http://99u.com/articles/22557/7-habits-of-incredibly-happy-people

University College London. 4 August 2009. How long does it take to form a habit? http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401