Pilates

Good Bone Health

Osteoporosis:
A Serious Silent Condition!

Osteoporosis is a common condition in postmenopausal women that can reduce mobility, quality of life, and lead to other serious health problems. In fact, you may have osteoporosis and not even know it!

A broken wrist may be the first sign of osteoporosis. See your doctor and find out if an underlying problem could be making your bones brittle.

Osteoporosis is a childhood disease, even though we may not see the effects until we are older. Encourage young people to build strong bones by choosing calcium-rich food and getting lots of exercise−two key elements to building healthy bones.

Losing two or more inches in your height—something often chalked up to normal aging—could be a sign of spinal fractures, a marker for serious bone loss.  Healthy bones are slightly flexible and are meant to withstand most impact. Freak accidents aside, bones aren’t supposed to break.

Diabetes, breast cancer, gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and depression have all been linked to bone loss. If you have any of these conditions, you may be at higher risk for fractures.

Preventing hip fractures should be as important as warding off cancer. One in five women and one in three men will die within a year after suffering a hip fracture. Because they commonly occur after age 75, hip fractures are often the catalyst for severe health declines. But rarely are they taken as seriously as cancer or heart disease

If you don’t fall you won’t break your bones. Improve your stability and reduce your risk of falling with core work and resistance training.

Improve and maintain good bone health with regular weight-bearing exercise and proper nutrition, with an emphasis on protein, calcium and vitamin D (it helps the body absorb calcium).  A simple blood test can check your vitamin D level.

Twin Ponds Center offers multiple services to help keep your bones strong: Nutritional Counseling, Pilates, Fitness Training, and Functional Medicine. Please call 610.395.3355 today to learn more about how you can strengthen your bones!

Especially Athletes! and All Others!

Diligent practice of hip stretches—what in yoga we often call “hip openers,” as though they are key to unlocking thesecrets of the hips—can dramatically increase your flexibility and range of motion around the hip joints. If you are athletically minded, this can be a good thing. But as with many good things, too much can be overdoing it.

The key for athletes is to develop or maintain balance between stiffness and openness: a balance of strength and flexibility in the muscles around the hips.This balance can change depending on both the athlete’s body and on sport-specific needs.

Depending on your sport, too much flexibility can be detrimental to your sports performance, as it can reduce your snappiness. Consider, for example the stiffness a runner needs for efficient transfer of energy to the ground. A floppy runner, one whose hips sag with each step, will have to work harder than one who springs lightly over the ground. But you need enough flexibility to move fluidly through your stride, without a hitch that can lead to an overuse injury. Poses that mimic the running stride, like lunges, can help you stay flexible through the range of motion used to run, and hip stretches that target the external rotators can help avoid overuse injuries like Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Piriformis Syndrome.

On the other hand, athletes need vastly more flexibility in the hips for engaging in activities like rock climbing, curling, or playing positions like catcher in baseball or softball.  A yoga practice for athletes in these activities can look very different from a practice for athletes who require more springy stiffness in their bodies; athletes who need to take deep squats can enjoy the full range of hip stretches, including poses that move deep into flexibility.

Consider where you fall on this spectrum. There may be a very good reason hip openers frustrate you, or a good reason for you to love and enjoy them. Either way, the process gives you an opportunity to consider what you can change and what you can’t, and to practice focusing your energy on creating useful change and accepting the unchangeable.

For all those who would like to improve balance and flexibility, reduce pain, increase range and ease of movement, and reduce habits of tension, consider becoming a student of one of the following: Yoga, Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training, Feldenkrais Method® of Movement Education, Personal Fitness Training, Pilates, Tai chi or Qigong,