Let’s Get Deep For A Minute: Bone Deep
October is Bone + Joint Health Month. Bones support your body and allow you to move. They protect your brain, heart, and other organs from injury. Bones are an essential part of fitness and good health.Sure, bones are structural, but they are by no means fixed or static! They are living, growing tissue, just like your muscles. The health of our bones dictates the types of activities we are able to do every day.
Bone degeneration can happen without us even knowing it. Making matters worse, for men and women alike, after age 30 you are naturally losing bone tissue faster than you make it, unless you have a bone building plan.
Bones respond to physical activity by growing stronger. In fact, the National Institutes of Health cites physical activity as one of the 3 most important ingredients for strong, healthy bones! Engaging in consistent strength-building, weight-bearing exercise is one of the best things you can do for your bones.
Why Are Megaformers™ Best For Bones + Joints?
The Lagree Fitness Method performed on the Megaformer offers that unique combination of intensity (the kind that challenges muscles and rebuilds bones) and joint-friendly movement in each 50-minute session. Sculpt’s Lagree Fitness workouts on the Megaformer are the best combination for long-term total body fitness and mobility, not to mention the quick results and changes in strength level Many forms of exercise are either intense (but jarring), or joint-friendly (but mellow); few workouts offer the rare combination of intense on muscles but easy on joints.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE METHOD + THE MEGAFORMER AT SCULPT
The good news is that anyone can make positive lifestyle and nutrition choices that can slow down and eliminate many of the risks of developing bone degenerating diseases. Read on for expert advice from this month’s guest blogger from Restore Motion Physical Therapy, Reshma Rathod, PT, MSPT, MBA.
Ms. Rathod will be here next week with her colleague, Carrie Cothran, PT, DPT, MS, in connection with our wellness workshop Sculpt Your Health: “Bone Up On Bones” at Sculpt Studio in Bethesda on October 26th @7:00pm. Come with questions for our experts, and afterward talk to Sculpt Studio Founder, Mary Farber, about how you can be bone + joint-smart on the Megaformer™.
Bone Up On Bones
By: Reshma Rathod, PT, MSPT, MBA
Most of us know very little about our bones – they are hidden and not painful until we break one!
So let’s start with some anatomical facts and bone up (get the facts) on bones:
- At birth we have 300 immature bones; some of these join up; adults have 206 bones.
- The human hand has 27 bones; the face has 14.
- The longest bone in the body is the femur (thigh bone) which is about 1/4 of your height.
- Did you know that humans and giraffes have the same number of bones in their necks?
During our lifetime, our bones are in a continual cycle of breaking down and rebuilding. Bone strength represents the integration of bone density and bone quality. Most women will reach 90% of their bone mass by the age of 18 and their peak bone mass by the age of 30 which emphasizes the importance of bone growth in childhood and adolescence through active and healthy lifestyles. As we age, and especially with hormonal changes associated post-menopause, the living bone tissue reabsorbs at a higher rate than rebuilding.
Bone thinning is classified as osteopenia or osteoporosis. Osteopenia, the less severe of bone weakening, is defined as having between -1 and -2.5 standard deviation of bone mineral density. Osteoporosis, the more severe of bone weakening, is diagnosed as having bone mineral density greater than -2.5 from the standard deviation. The stronger bones we have, the less likely we will fracture in a traumatic incident.
Physical activity can modify bone strength. When gravitation or muscle pull produces strain on the skeleton that is greater than optimal strain, bone formation occurs. In conjunction to other types of interventions, bone loss can be slowed and sometimes reversed. The improvements from exercise are likely from increased bone density and lessened endocrotial bone loss, not an increase in bone size. Women who engaged in a combination of exercise types had an average 3.2% less bone loss at the spine and 1.03% less bone loss at the hip than those who did not exercise.
Consider the following to protect your bones:
- Assessment of footwear and/or orthotics and adjustments if necessary.
- Review food intake with a doctor/nutritionist to check if you have the essentials for strong bones.
- Assessment of the load, type and intensity of your exercise program.
- Medical check-up to rule out other potential causes (like thyroid disease or medications that may cause bone loss).
- Don’t smoke and keep alcohol and caffeine intake to a minimum (these substances may lower bone density).
P.S. All mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae (neck bones)…..except for manatees…and sloths