Archive for July, 2009
We all are aware of the important role calcium plays in building and maintaining strong bone composition. Several recent studies have shown that consuming calcium can have both positive and negative implications.
On January 16th, 2008 a New Zealand study was released which linked calcium supplementation to increased strokes and heart attacks in healthy postmenopausal women. The study participants were given 1000 mg of calcium on top of their dietary calcium intake of 860mg/day. (1) As a result of this study, members of the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada released a calcium update statement suggesting that individuals calculate their total dietary calcium before considering supplements. (2)
In a different research study (3) conducted last summer, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that fat-free milk consumption after strength training was a more effective means to increase lean mass compared to either soy protein milk or a carbohydrate beverage.
The study involved fifty-six healthy young men that weight trained five days per week (alternating muscle groups). The fifty-six men were divided into three study groups using a random selection process. Each member in a study group was required to consume two cups of a selected beverage (either soy protein milk, fat-free milk or a carbohydrate beverage) after their training session was completed.
At the end of the twelve-week study period, it was determined that the milk-drinking group lost twice as much fat as the next best group. On average, individuals in the milk group lost two pounds, individuals in the carbohydrate beverage group lost one pound, and no weight loss was achieved in the soy protein milk group.
The milk group also gained more muscle than the other two groups.
Both of these studies illustrate the importance of the source of calcium and its affect on overall health. The concerns raised with calcium supplements versus dietary calcium in the New Zealand study, as well as the benefits seen in the McMaster study of the consumption of milk after weight training gives you one more reason to ask yourself: “Got Milk?”
1. Click here to read the whole article
2. To link to the calcium intake summary from Osteoporosis Canada click here.
3. S.B. Wilkinson, M.A. Tarnopolsky, M.J. MacDonald, J.R. MacDonald, D. Armstrong and S.M. Phillips. Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion following resistance exercise than an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy protein beverage. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 85(4):1031-1040, 2007.
Juvent 1000 Dynamic Motion Therapy (DMT) Vibration Platform
A Review by Margaret Martin
Could a new technology, selected by NASA for use on next year’s Space Station to assist astronauts to build bone in a zero gravity situation, help someone stationed here on earth? I decided to check this out for myself.
I recently had the opportunity to try the Juvent 1000 Dynamic Motion Therapy (DMT) Platform.
The device resembles a bathroom weight scale and generates vibrations through the soles of your feet. The fast and gentle vertical accelerations that the platform emits produces tiny stresses. Researchers believe that these stresses stimulate the bones to grow stronger.
A recent study has shown that a one year treatment of low-level, high frequency vertical vibrations can inhibit bone loss in the hip and spine. The study was conducted on a group of women who were three to eight years post menopause.
The company suggests that you will see results if you use the device for a minimum of twenty minutes a day.
When I took the Juvent 1000 DMT for a test drive, I was pleasantly surprised by the gentle vibration that it emitted.
It is not meant as a replacement to a drug therapy program and is probably a reasonable supplement to other bone activities. However, with a price tag of $3,000, I will need to see further studies before I make any recommendations to my clients.
At MelioGuide, we recommend that you adopt a bone friendly lifestyle that includes the right combination of exercise, nutrition and daily activities. We also suggest that before you undertake any health-related changes that you consult with your physician.
One final note on the Juvent 1000 DMT: A bone vibration study is underway in the Toronto region and the medical team is looking for volunteers. The study is taking place at the Postmenopausal Health Research Clinic at Toronto General Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Angela Cheung.
If you are interested in participating visit the link below. We have also included a link to Juvent’s web site with the product details.
MelioGuide receives no compensation or consideration from Juvent, Inc.
|Bone Vibration Study at Toronto General Hospital|
|Juvent 1000 Dynamic Motion Therapy Platform (Canada)|
|Juvent 1000 Dynamic Motion Therapy Platform (US)|
You just started a bone-healthy exercise program that incorporates all the important ingredients to address bone health. Excellent work! You are already well ahead of the game.
Most of you have either read or heard about weighted vests. Are there any additional benefits if you use a weighted vest while exercising? A recent article published in the July 2007 edition of the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity supports the use of progressive exercise training using weighted vests in postmenopausal women. *
Summary of Study Findings
The article reports on the effects of a twelve-week exercise training program using weighted vests on bone turnover and isokinetic strength in a randomly selected group of postmenopausal women. The intention of the study was to design an exercise-training program of progressive resistance that could be easily adapted to home and community settings, and, at the same time, diverse (and interesting) enough to appeal to a large number of postmenopausal women. The program was composed of exercises that do not require the use of specialized machines or free weights.
The results of the trial indicated that within the group of postmenopausal women who followed the exercise program over the twelve-week period:
- Bone resorption (breakdown) decreased significantly.
- Bone formation activity was unchanged.
- There were improvements in percentage of body fat, fat free mass, and ankle plantar-flexor strength.
- 80% of the group stayed on the exercise program throughout its twelve-week duration.
What does this mean for you?
A weighted vest would be a great alternative or adjunct to holding free weights during your exercise program.
How heavy should the vest be?
The study demonstrates that there are significant benefits if you progressively increase the weight in the vest. An initial weight of 3% of your body weight is a good start, eventually progressing to a maximum of 15% of your body weight.
Which exercises are most suited to wearing a weighted vest?
A weighted vest would be a good adjunct to following exercises in the MelioGuide programs:
- Marching (Beginner level)
- Heel Drops (Beginner level)
- Reverse lunge (Beginner level)
- Squats (Active through Elite level)
- Lunges (Active through Elite level)
- Step Ups (Active level)
- Band walks (Athletic level)
It would also be a good adjunct to a walking and balance training program.
Our Exercise Programs are available free of charge and we encourage you to sign up.
What weighted vest does MelioGuide recommend?
There are a number of weighted vests on the market. The vest I like is from www.walkvest.com. It is sporty looking and breaths well.
If you have experience with other brands and have liked them please share the information to us. You can reach us through our Contact Us page.
* Effects of Exercise Training With Weighted Vests on Bone Turnover and Isokinetic Strength in Postmenopausal Women. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, July 2007, 15, 287-299. This study was conducted by Panagiota Klentrou and Brian Roy at Brock University’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences in St. Catherines, Ontario, Jill Slack with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Nursing, and Michel Ladouceur of the University of Iowa’s Department of Exercise Science.
MelioGuide receives no compensation or consideration from Resistance Wear or any other weighted vest manufacturer or distributor.
Most of you have become members of MelioGuide either because you, someone you know or those you work with has been diagnosed with reduced bone mineral density or osteoporosis. Low bone density is one of the changes brought on by menopause.
I recently attended a lecture on menopause given by Dr Elaine Jolly, Medical Director of the Shirley Greenberg Medical Health Center in Ottawa, Ontario. The lecture was very informative and I believe that many of you will benefit from the suggestions made in this article. Some of you will need more support from your Physician or a Physical Therapist trained in the area of Women’s Health and I encourage you to work with a knowledgeable health care professional.
The resounding message was that you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes an exercise program that is both comprehensive and safe. If you have not signed up for your MelioGuide exercise program, I encourage you to do so.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is official when you have been without a menstrual period for twelve full continuous months. Menopause is a natural event and is not something to be “treated”. Each woman will go through menopause in her own unique way and some will go through menopause more easily than others.
Menopause and Bone Loss
If you enter the premenopausal period with good bone density, you should not experience bone loss until menopause. Bone loss from diminished estrogen levels will vary from woman to woman. Depending on genetics and lifestyle, bone loss can vary from 1% to 5% per year!
For women who are already at risk for bone loss, SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) is a great choice. There is little increase in the risk of breast cancer when SERMs are appropriately prescribed.
We now know that proper exercise has been shown to reduce the bone loss caused by menopause and strength training is a key component of a well-constructed exercise program.
Melioguide provides individuals with comprehensive exercise programs with their bone health as a key focus.
Menopause and Unwanted Hair
During and after menopause your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone but they still produce testosterone. The presence of testosterone explains the increase in facial hair.
Symptoms of Menopause
Symptoms of menopause can include:
- Aches & Joint Pain
- Cognitive changes (decreased short term memory and planning)
- Lack of Energy
- Memory Change
- Hot Flashes
- Reduced Bladder Control
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Dry Mouth
- Vaginal dryness
Menopause and Hot Flashes
Some women will have hot flashes as young as 38 years of age and as late as 72 years of age. Dressing in easy to remove layers, keeping your room cool (especially at night), and avoiding spicy foods will help you if you are experiencing hot flashes.
Menopause and Sleep
It has been shown that the more active you are, the less the incidence of insomnia. Only 30% of active woman complain of sleep disturbances compared to 61% of less active women.
Menopause and Weight Gain
The average weight gain is 4.2 Kg during menopause. This can be controlled with a regular exercise program.
Menopause, Sex and More
Within three years of menopause, women may experience the following symptoms:
- Bladder urgency
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
To reduce the symptoms of vaginal dryness you could try avoiding harsh soaps, over washing, dampness (hanging out in a wet swim suit), wearing non-chafing breathable underwear, using antihistamines and smoking.
Lubrication, Moisturization and Utilization
Three important key points to help with vaginal dryness and painful intercourse are:
1. Lubrication (non-prescriptive)
- KY with Vitamin E
- “Slippery Stuff”
Several non-prescriptive moisturizers include:
- KY Moisture Beads
- Vitamin E (before you go to bed at night)
Some of the prescription products available include:
- Estring: contains estradiol; one ring lasts 3 months
- Premarin Vaginal Cream: contains conjugated estrogens; to be used cyclically, i.e. 3 weeks on/1 week off
- Vagifem: estradiol in vaginal tablet insert form; insert daily for 2 weeks, then twice a week
Use it or…. ouch. If you stop having intercourse, the vagina will shrink down and future intercourse will be painful. Recommendations are to use a vibrator once a week for 5 minutes.
You should also consider performing Kegels exercises daily.
Hormone therapy is beneficial for some women. The decision to use hormone therapy should be made between a woman and her doctor. In cases where woman still have their uterus, a combination of estrogen and progesterone is prescribed. For women whose uterus has been removed, estrogen alone can be prescribed. If a decision is made to begin hormone therapy, the therapy should be tapered off by the age of 60 years (in order to reduce the risk of breast cancer).
The Resounding Message
The healthier your lifestyle, the better you will be at dealing with life’s changes and challenges including menopause. I applaud you all for your dedication to exercise and encourage you to keep at your program.