Archive for October, 2009
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to attend Stop the Stoop – my Osteoporosis Exercise and Education Seminar.
Two Seminars have been scheduled and each will take place at NutriChem Pharmacy Clinic. The dates are:
- Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 12:00 noon – 1:00 PM
- Tuesday, December 8th, 2009, 4:45 – 5:45 PM
The charge for the Seminar is $30 + GST and attendance is limited to six students per session – so sign up today by calling 613-721-3669.
In my blogpost on October 19th I mentioned a recent interview I had with the Toronto Star on exercise and osteoporosis. The article, When Exercise Becomes a Hazard, did a good job of capturing some of the key messages I have for my clients.
A week after this publication I was interviewed in a second article, Osteoporosis Defence Begins in Teenage Years, went on to discuss the importance of bone building at a young age.
At Function to Fitness, my Physiotherapy and Personal Training studio in Ottawa, I develop safe and effective exercise programs for clients with osteoporosis. Many of the principals I discuss in the Toronto Star interview, I share with my clients and incorporate into their programs.
Vivian Song, the writer, did a good job of capturing a number of points I regularly share with my clients:
For parents, that means providing kids with a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D during their optimal bone building years, and encouraging a wide range of exercise, says Margaret Martin, an Ottawa-based physical therapist who designed the MelioGuide, an online resource for all things osteoporosis.
“Exercise needs to be as high impact as possible, like basketball, gymnastics or soccer,” Martin said. “And ideally, kids should be doing as many different types of exercises as possible because each sport challenges bones differently.”
More than 25 per cent of all the bone built in a boy’s lifetime will happen between the ages of 13 and 15, while the same will happen for girls during the ages of 12 and 14.
“In those two years, you will acquire as much bone as you will lose in your entire adult life,” she said. “That’s why it’s important to build as much as you can here.”
For girls, the optimal bone-building years can also be defined as the onset of menstruation. The older the girl is before she gets her period, the narrower her window of time for building bone mass. And for many girls with delayed menstruation, the reason can be traced back to eating disorders.
Martin advises both parents and female sports coaches to make a habit of asking girls about their cycles.
“Menstrual cycles are a clear sign of whether or not a girl is at a safe body weight,” she said. “It’s OK to be slim as long as you have regular periods.”
For older adults, strength-training exercises should be at a weight load that tires them out at between 10 to 12 repetitions. Sessions should be about 45 minutes and occur two to three times a week, Martin suggests.
I was recently interviewed (and quoted!) in an article, When Exercise Becomes a Hazard, on exercise and osteoporosis in the Toronto Star. The article refers to MelioGuide – my online service devoted to osteoporosis and exercise.
At Function to Fitness, my Physiotherapy and Personal Training studio in Ottawa, I develop safe and effective exercise programs for clients with osteoporosis and find it exciting when I can get my message well beyond the reach of my studio.
The writer, Vivian Song, did a good job of capturing some of the key messages I have for my clients:
For those who may not have access to a specialized trainer, Ottawa-based physical therapist Margaret Martin developed the MelioGuide, an online site that tailors exercise programs to the participant’s fracture risk and activity level.
Instructional exercises as well as safety tips on how to safely lower onto the floor or pick up weights are demonstrated through YouTube videos.
The program is endorsed by the Ontario Physiotherapy Association and is also used by health practitioners across the country.
One of the reasons Martin developed the site was the vacuum of information for osteoporosis management, as well as the “one-size-fits-all” approach, she said.
But it was also to save people from potentially harmful exercises that are likely to induce spinal fractures rather than prevent them.
“One of the most common mistakes I see is when people do exercises that bring you into a forward, slouched position,” she said in a phone interview from Ottawa. “Sit-ups, toe-touches and most yoga and Pilates moves are very harmful for individuals with osteoporosis.”
The MelioGuide also teaches participants how to avoid the same slouching movement – also called forward flexion – with everyday activities like taking food out of the fridge, loading the dishwasher or tying their shoes.
“Exercising means the difference between independence and dependence.”
Running is an excellent way to build bone strength and prevent osteoporosis. However, to improve the effectiveness of your run on your bone health, you should vary your running routine with steps that increase impact and change the loading patterns. Studies have shown that sprinters have stronger bones than distance runners. The three alternative steps demonstrated in this video are bounding, high knees and skipping. You can incorporate them into your warm up or include them as part of a run to keep your bones guessing! Short distance running is an excellent exercise choice for people at risk of osteoporosis. Have fun!