Exercise and osteoporosis

Jo-Ann James talking about exercise and osteoporosis at The Big Carrot  January 30, 2014.

Jo-Ann James talking about exercise and osteoporosis at The Big Carrot January 30, 2014.

Exercise is medicine- this is what our own Jo-Ann James reiterates whenever possible. And it is especially true when it comes to osteoporosis prevention or management.  James says that our bones are alive and need to be stimulated, “When the muscle contracts, when we apply force against our bones, they build.”

For over thirty years, Jo-Ann has worked with women and has seen the same pattern repeated over and over again: people who regularly exercise, but still have health problems. They’re distressed because they thought they’d been doing everything right; in fact, they were not doing the right exercises, “it’s due to one movement done wrong, repeated over and over for years.”

Those with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before doing any exercise, warns James. After one is given the go-ahead, it’s important to learn exercises that are both safe and beneficial.

“Strength training, without a doubt, is essential for every woman.”

Bodies need a strong core, proper posture and balance. During our day we slouch in our chairs, strain our necks to read computer screens and awkwardly twist our bodies in all sorts of ways in order to multi-task. James’ suggestion: Be attentive when moving about.

Make sure our vertebrae are straight, that we bend down at the waist and that we avoid sitting as much as possible, “Sitting is the worst thing we can do.”

Do: Use body bars, dumbbells, and resistance bands to apply force while encouraging muscles to contract.

Don’t: Slouch, twist, strain your neck or back.

“Those who don’t make time for exercise will have to make time for illness,” says James, paraphrasing third Earl of Derby Edward Stanley. “Why not try to prevent, or intervene, through proper nutrition and exercise?”

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