What is Osteoporosis and how to prevent it

Introduction

Human aging is inevitable. While we are aging, many things start to deteriorate. It is an outcome that cannot be avoided. Our hair starts falling out, we start to have less collagen and our skin becomes wrinkly. Memory starts to get worse and worse, we start to lose control of our bowels and we gradually become weaker. These are some of the effects of aging. Another big part of aging is osteoporosis. Today I’ll go through what is osteoporosis. And even though we cannot avoid any effects of aging, we can have some measures that delay the onset and consequences.

 

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is when the quality or density of the bone diminishes. This causes the bone to become brittle and weak. As a result, we end up being more susceptible to fractures. The health of bones is dependant on two cells; osteoclast and osteoblast. The osteoclast is the cell that takes bone away and osteoblast are the cells which lay down bones. Throughout our lives, both of these cells work in harmony. However, as we age they do not work as well together as they should. This results in the osteoclast removing more bone than osteoclast forming bone. Thus causing bone density to decrease.

 

Collagen and calcium to fight the osteoporosis

Our bones are living tissue that can grow to different sizes. Just like other parts of our body, our bones need nutrients and stimulation to grow. One nutrient that can promote healthy bones is collagen. Our bones are actually made up of the protein called collagen. It provides the body with the effect of cushioning and strength. This protein can also be found in our skin, muscles, ligament, and tendon. Unfortunately, once we hit the age of 25 the production of collagen starts to decrease. Naturally, our bones start becoming weak due to the lack of this protein. Alongside collagen, calcium is also used to strengthen bones. Calcium solidifies the structure in our bone so it becomes stronger and less brittle. In order to strengthen the structure of our bones, we need to increase or keep up our collagen and calcium intake. This can be through natural sources such as different types of meats, beans, eggs, and dairy products.

 

The effects of weight training on the osteoporosis

Another way to delay the onset of osteoporosis is to exercise, more specifically weight training. Weight training can help with the prevention of osteoporosis. Every time we strength train, we actually stress the bone by pulling and tugging it through the lengthening and shortening of the muscles. So once we put stress on the bone, it stimulates the bone-forming cells into action causing more bone growth. It is strongly encouraged to do some sort of weight training at a young age as once we discover we have osteoporosis it is always too late for recovery.

 

Conclusion

Aging is something that we cannot prevent, however, we can delay the onset and minimize the effects it’ll have on our body. One consequence of aging is osteoporosis. Although we can’t prevent it from consuming plenty of food with high amounts of collagen and protein and doing regular resistance exercise can help us minimize the effects of osteoporosis!

 

The issue of osteoporosis

 

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Cool Down: Why or Why Not

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the importance of warming up and how it was crucial before we jump into our workout. So today we are going to skip the workout and head straight into the cool down and why it’s important to do a cool down after. Some of you may think cool downs are a waste of time and it is extremely boring. I was on that boat myself not too long ago until I decided to give it a go and see what the difference was. So let’s go through a couple of important reasons why you should always cool down after a big workout.

 

  1. It can lead to a reduction of lactic acid build up. After a big workout, our muscles secrete a large amount of lactic acid. It is this lactic acid that causes our muscles to be sore. So to prevent muscle soreness it is best to reduce the amount of lactic acid continually building up. Research has shown that doing a warm down such as a slow paced walk or a gentle stretch is the most effective way or reducing lactic acid. So if you don’t like sore muscles the next day, do a warm down!
  2. A warm down prevents venous pooling of the blood in our extremities. This pooling of blood in the extremities may lead to dizziness and fainting. This is because when we are exercising our sympathetic nervous system comes into play. When we are in this state, our blood pressure and heart beat rises. When we stop moving, our body switches over to the parasympathetic state. In this state our blood pressure drops. Because of the sudden drop of blood pressure, the blood will have gathered into your extremity and not enough blood would’ve been pumped into your brain. Due to the lack of oxygen in the brain, it can cause dizziness and fainting.
  3. It’s a great time for reflection. After every sports game or workout, it is a good time to reflect on how well you did and what you can improve on. Of course, you always deserve a pat on the back as well after working out. Cooling down is a great way to calm your mind while still being engaged at your previous task.

 

Cooling down is just as important as warming up. It allows us to decrease the likelihood of muscle soreness, prevents dizziness and fainting and allows us a good time to reflect. There are also many great reasons why cooling down is a must after every workout! So remember to spend 5 minutes to either go for a small walk, a stretch or something with low impact after your next work out!

 

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Fit For Life

Deadlift Foot Placement (Part 1)

Background

There is nothing quite like the feeling of picking up a heavy weight in your hands. As with any movement or exercise in the gym, when repeatedly done incorrectly the deadlift can lead to some issues.

Although the deadlift appears simple, there are a few things you need to pay attention to. The first is foot position. It’s not uncommon for me to see people in the gym deadlifting with their feet in too wide a stance. I’m referring to the conventional deadlift here, not the sumo deadlift where the feet are supposed to be placed in a wide stance.

How and Why

Having your feet too far apart will mean that your knees will cave inward to make room for your arms to grab the bar. This is not good as it will stress the ligaments of the knees, increasing your chance of injury or at the very least, decreasing your power output during the lift.

Exact foot position will vary slightly from person to person but for general consideration, if your stance is too narrow you may struggle to engage the glutes at the top of the lift. If the stance is too wide, as mentioned it will push the knees inward.

A good place to start is with feet hip width apart (please note that this is narrower than shoulder width apart!). With the feet in this position they will be directly beneath the hips, allowing you to grab the bar with your hands shoulder width apart.

Image result for feet hip width apart for deadlift

There are dozens of other things to look out for when deadlifting. But getting your feet in the right place is a good place to start.

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Important Habits To Keep The Weight Off

There is a lot of information and weight loss programs out there claiming to help you rapidly lose weight that say something like “how lose 20 kilos in 3 days”. Losing extreme amounts of weight in a short period of time will often require unsustainable habits.

If you are serious about weight loss the most important thing isn’t to lose it quickly but to keep it off once you lose it.

There are a few key behaviours and habits among people who have shed body fat and kept it off. None of them should be surprising!

1) Cognitive restrain:

this means you must have a way to help stop you from overeating. This can be things like: restricting the amount of time you eat during the day (known as intermittent fasting), limit intake of a food group (usually fats or carbohydrates for example).

To keep you on track it will be useful to use a food journal, weighing yourself to monitor weight change (keep in mind that most people will fluctuate up and down couple of kilos throughout the day so you want to look at long term trend over weeks) or taking body measurements. Keeping regular tabs will help you adjust what you are doing so you don’t get too far off track.

2) Regular exercise:

Regular exercise will increase the energy you use in a given day so you aren’t storing excess bodyweight. Exercise also helps your brain better recognize satiety signals so you don’t eat as much!

3) Long term focus:

like anything worth having in life, financial independence, a university education or mastering a trade, maintaining a healthy body takes short term sacrifice for long term gain. From time to time you can have a treat, but when treats become the norm they are no longer a treat.

4) Social support:

Having someone supporting you on the journey will hugely help you in reaching and maintaining a healthier weight. Such as joining a boot camp type training facility or sports team or even an online forum can help give you outside support to reach your goals

-Karfopoulou, E., Anastasiou, C., Avgeraki, E., Kosmidis, M., & Yannakoulia, M. (2016). The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: Results from the medweight study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 39(3), 511-8.

-Kraschnewski et al. (2010). Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. International journal of obesity (2005), 34(11), 1644–1654.

-Kruger et al. (2006). Dietary and physical activity behaviors among adults successful at weight loss maintenance. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 3, 17.
Nicklas et al. (2012). Successful weight loss among obese U.S. adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 42(5), 481–485.

 

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Healthy diet, fitness tips for home > Schriever Air Force Base > Article  Display

5-Minute Total Body Warm Up

Warm up Wisely

It can be really tempting to skip your warm up and get right into an intense strength training session to maximize the time in your day. Not only will this decrease your performance in the session, it will also increase the likelihood of injury, which is never fun.

Today we’re going to take you through a catch-all warm that will ensure that all your joints are ready for motion and your blood is pumping. Feel free to mix and match these with other warm up routines to tailor it to your specific training needs.

Be sure to move within a comfortable range of motion and don’t push yourself too far too quickly. Keep breathing throughout and make sure you’re keeping proper form with control and you’re not flailing your limbs out uncontrollably or your may injure yourself.

We’ve combined movements in some of these to maximize the variety of movement your get in shorter time. We’ve presented the movements to time, but feel free to do them to a specific amount of reps or whatever gets your muscles warm and your heart pumping.

Here it is:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

  • Start by standing with feet together and arms at your sides.
  • Jump while spreading your legs to shoulder width apart and raising your arms over head.
  • Jump back to starting position and repeat.

Related image

Squat & Twist (30 secs)

  • Squat down and use your left arm to hold your left foot while keeping your elbow on the inside of your leg.
  • Twist your torso and other arm towards the ceiling.
  • Twist back to the starting position and squat up.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Image result for squat and twist

Side Lunge with Frontal Raise (30 secs)

  • Spread your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Squat down with your left leg while raising both arms out in front of you.
  • Stand up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Image result for side lunge with frontal raise

Forward Leg Swings (30 secs each side)

  • Hold on to something to the side and start with both feet under your hips
  • Swing the outside leg forward and backward while gradually increasing the range and height of your swing
  • Repeat on the other side

Related image

More exercises

Lateral Leg Swings (30 secs each side)

  • Hold on to something in front of you and start with both feet under your hips
  • Shift your weight to your right leg and swing your left across your body and out to the side (left)
  • Repeat on the other side

Image result for leg swing

Skipping Shoulder Circles (30 secs forward/30 secs backward)

  • Skip forward or in place and make circles with your arms going forward
  • Repeat with your arms going backwards

Related image

Walk Out with Shoulder Taps  (30 secs)

  • Start standing with feet shoulder width apart, touch your toes and walk your hands out to a plank position
  • Tap your right shoulder with your left hand while keeping your core braced and torso stationary
  • Walk your hands back to your feet, stand up and repeat

Image result for plank shoulder taps

***Give this routine a try and feel free to mix and match with movements to make it your own!

 

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Cervicogenic Headaches, How To Fix Them

What is it?

 

Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that originate from the upper neck (upper cervical spine). The pain is felt at the head, however, the dysfunction and cause of the pain is in the neck. Typically, these headaches come from dysfunction of the upper three vertebrae of your spine, which is referred to as the upper cervical spine.

Specific movements and positions can cause irritation or compression of the structures and nerves, which leads to cervicogenic headaches. This is due to the nerves of the upper cervical spine merging with the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for sensation of the head and face.

 

Cervicogenic, how does it happen?

 

These types of headaches can be caused by a variety of activities that put too much stress in the upper neck. The cause can be traumatic, such as whiplash (see previous blog post) from a car accident, or more commonly a gradual build-up of stress with poor posture over time(from being in front of your computer or while studying).

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

 

  • Headache that feels like a constant dull ache on one or both sides of the head and face
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain comes on during or after specific head movement

 

How long does it last for?

 

Typically, with appropriate treatment from a health care professional, ushc as a physiotherapist or  structural chiropractor, cervicogenic headache cases will resolve within 1-2 weeks. However, more complex cases may take weeks to months for complete resolution of symptoms.

The outcome and resolution depends on the severity of the dysfunction, your ability to get appropriate treatment and modify/avoid activities that aggravate it.

 

How do you treat it?

 

Seeing as posture is the most significant contributing factor to cervicogenic headaches, you should aim to improve posture with exercise and treatment. An individualized exercise and treatment plan will be most effective when treating cervicogenic headaches. A qualified structural chiropractor can assess your specific posture and condition to develop a personalized treatment and exercise plan best suited for you.

In our office, the structural chiropractors take an individualized approach utilizing a variety of techniques, including one that focuses on the specific problem area in the upper cervical spine.

Here are 3 exercises that may help with cervicogenic headaches. DO NOT perform these if they produce pain or unusual sensations (consult with a health care professional).

 

Chin tucks

 

  • Keeping a neutral spine and using your index finger as a guide on your chin, tuck your chin towards your chest (like you’re trying to make a double chin)
  • Hold for 5 minutes
  • Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day

 

Scapular retraction

 

  • With your hands at your sides and your palms facing forward, bring your shoulder blades down and pinch them together
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 5 times, 3 times a day

 

Neck flexor strengthening

 

  • Lie face up on the edge of your bed with your head hanging off the edge
  • Flex your head forward until it’s in neutral position and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat this 8 times, 3 times a day

 

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Clinical Support Tool For Management Of Headache Following Concussion/mTBI

Core: 7 Exercises

Core: 7 Exercises

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Core Exercises Fitness Model - Must Link to https://thorou… | Flickr

Core: Shoulder Taps (6/7)

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Bodyweight exercises: a solution to improving fitness > Air Force Reserve  Command > News Article

Core: Bird Dogs (1/7)

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File:Birddog exercise.svg - Wikimedia Commons