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Pumping a Little Iron Might Just Prevent Osteoporosis
Author: Adam Kessler

Copyright 2006 Adam Kessler

When Gail Kelley, President of Two Men and a Truck®, turned 50, she had a base line bone scan performed. She learned that she was below minimum level bone density for her pelvis/hip and right at minimum level for her spine. She was in the early stages of osteoporosis. Her options were drugs, which she wanted to use only as a last resort, or increase her calcium intake, which she had tried calcium supplements before with poor results. She decided to choose on a third option not as highly promoted as the first two. Weight-bearing exercises.

Low bone mass is a typical characteristic of osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, this disease leads to deterioration of the bone tissue and could affect over 44 million Americans or 55 percent of individuals age 50 or older. It is estimated that in the United States, 10 million people already have the disease while another 34 million are estimated to have low bone density therefore increasing their chance of acquiring the disease. If acquired, the disease leads to increased bone fragility and more susceptibility to fractures. Eighty percent of the victims are women.

Medical experts agree that osteoporosis can be preventable, but it starts during adolescence. These are the years where you are developing your bone mass, so getting kids to eat diets rich in calcium and Vitamin D is a must. Other factors experts say that can help prevent osteoporosis are: • Doing weight-bearing and resistance training exercises • Living a healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol consumption • Taking bone-density tests when appropriate

Kelley decided to enlist the services of Adam Kessler, President of Sports Conditioning Specialists, to get her on track. Kessler put her on an exercise routine with weights, adding an intensity that she wasn’t used to doing on her own. Studies have shown that using weight-bearing exercises will help to increase the bone density and make them stronger. Working with dumbbells, free weights, and/or exercise machines at an intensity that pushes you, should develop increase the bone density enough to stave the onset of osteoporosis.

“I am amazed at the difference of how I think I pushed myself when working out versus what these guys can get out of me,” Kelley said. “They just do not allow me to slack off. They understand my goal and when I waver they refocus me to that goal.”

Kessler also recommended combining the exercise with an improved calcium rich diet. This included eating more dairy foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, milk, or cheese. But some people are lactose intolerant. If that is the case, an individual could acquire their calcium from sources such as baked beans, oranges, molasses, almonds, or salmon.

What was the result? A year later Kelley went back and pestered her doctor to get another bone scan. Her second scan showed much improvement in both her critical areas, moving her back into the normal range.

“My doctor said that the usual scenario is that once bone density loss starts, it does not stop, let alone improve!”

Kelley was ecstatic that she didn’t have to resort to drugs and has resolved that the combined diet and exercise will become a lifestyle habit for her to prevent osteoporosis.

“My mentality is that I will continue to workout with Adam and his group indefinitely. They have become part of the team of professionals that are helping me reach my goal of staying active and healthy as I age,” said Kelley.

It is recommended that if you have some of the following risk factors, you might want to ask your doctor for a bone scan: • Women over 50 and started menopause • Caucasian or Asian, but all races can be affected • An inactive lifestyle • Low calcium intake throughout your lifetime • Family history of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because there really aren’t any symptoms until it is too late. Before you know it your bones are weak and you are getting fractures. So if you have certain risk factors it is better to be safe than sorry. But, the best thing you can do now is start pumping iron and eating right and maybe you won’t have to worry about ‘dem bones.’

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Adam Kessler is President of Fitness Planning Consultants, inc. The company focuses on weight loss, athletic speed and strength training, and wellness consulting for small businesses. You can find more free health and fitness information at: www.fitnessplanning.com

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