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The best exercise for 2014? You decide...

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

As 2014 gets closer, are you thinking about any fitness resolutions? One colleague told me recently “I’m hating my gym membership already” – and this is before she’s taken her first class!

In fact, many of us start off the New Year with grueling plans about what kind of exercise we’re going to do — for strength, for flexibility, or for weight loss. But if you do so, you may forget the most important consideration of all – what’s right for you?

Doing what’s best for you as an individual has always been an important part of my Better Bones approach, so I was extremely pleased that the concepts of personalized medicine and fitness were “hot” topics at a conference I recently attended.

If you would like to make an exercise resolution for 2014, here are a few ideas for helping you choose:

The best exercise for you is something that makes you feel good. Pay attention to what invigorates you and feels good for your body without causing any distress. For some of us, that may be a walk around the neighborhood, while for others it may be swimming, lifting weights or vigorous stretching. By doing what you love, you’ll do it more often and stick with it – and enjoy doing it!

Exercising outside can be lifting to the spirit. For me, there is something truly inspiring about getting out in nature as much as possible. One of my favorite activities in the winter is to snowshoe along with my dog. Short walks outside, cross-country skiing (with poles for balance) and even shoveling and building snow forts build fitness while helping us connect with nature.

With just about any exercise, you can increase bone-building action. As far as I’m concerned, any exercise is good exercise! For extra bone-building, the key is to “take your bones off guard” by varying your favorite routine. It seems that bone acclimates itself to the stresses we put on it, so unusual impact appears to stimulate bone-building factors. If you’re walking, add a few hops. If you swim, add some resistance paddles.

I’m hopeful that we’re all getting to the point where we no longer need to think that everything works for everybody!

 

You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women's Health Network. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Better Bones Health Package.

 

We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.

 

Comments

December 11. 2013 14:23

I used to hate to exercise until I was introduced to the Rebounder. I find I can do the exercises without harming my bones or putting extra stress where I dont want it! Stretches, work with resistance bands, jump, hop, use weights, it's great. I checked with my doctor first and she recommend it saying that, if anything, it would help me and my bones. There are no set times, you set the time, I like to turn on my music and exercise but the real funny part is I have a  conure that likes to get on my shoulder and just squawk and squawk to the music so she gets her exercise too! Thank goodness I have it in the sunroom where no one can see me:)) I have also found that it helps with my balance.

Nancy

December 12. 2013 10:58

I applaud you for encouraging people to get out and exercise. It’s true that exercising outside can be lifting to the spirit and that it’s good to do exercise that you like and that makes you feel good. However, this advice is not sufficient for helping women avoid bone loss throughout their body.

When I was approaching menopause, I wanted to find out what type and amount of exercise I needed to do to prevent peri- and post-menopausal bone loss. Unfortunately medical professionals are seldom taught how to answer such questions so I had to do my own research, experimentation and serial bone density testing to determine what were the most effective exercise regimens for me. Some of what I learned can be found on my webpage entitled:
"How to Get Maximum Bone Benefit from Exercise" at www.avoidboneloss.com/exercise.htm.

Renée Newman
www.avoidboneloss.com

Renée Newman

December 12. 2013 11:21

Thank you!

Ann

December 12. 2013 19:50

@Nancy: We're glad to hear the rebounder is working out so well for you!

@Renee: Thank you for your comment -- we think the problem is fixed with posting, but please do let us know if this continues! In the meantime, we will take a look at your site. Also, please take a look at Dr. Brown's other info on bone health and exercise, which can be found here: http://www.betterbones.com/healthylifestyle/exercise-bonesandosteoporosis.aspx

Thank you both!

Jacqueline
Blog Admin  

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