Wednesday, February 15, 2006

To prevent osteoporosis, women need both diet and exercise

This is what I like about my job. It is low-paying, but it is very mentally-stimulating. The only regret I have is not having enough time to read on the subjects discussed.

Anyway, I had posted before in another of my blogs about the importance of exercise supplementing diet.

Recently, my SIL noticed I had an exercise ball (aside from my elliptical) and she said, I did not have to exercise as I was already thin (to her). I told her, those were not to make me lose weight, but to keep my muscle toned. You see, muscles not used waste away (atrophy of disuse). If I continue to just sit here all day (as what my work requires), I will, in time, lose my legs' shape (which many have found to be quite sexy). I actually have been feeling aches in my upper limbs as they are most of the time in a typing position, and not subject to exercise as much as I would like them to be. I have been meaning to add dumbbells or resistance bands to my exercise gadget. I want to keep my muscle mass.

Now what has muscle got to do with bones and osteoporosis? Well, every time we use our muscles, the bones to which they are attached are put under stress. LIke I previously mentioned in another blog, there is a reaction to every action. The bones react to the stress by building mass as well.

I just thought about posting this here because I was editing a transcript where the doctor said the following:

"it is imperative for her bone health that she maintain weightbearing exercise including weights, not just using the elliptical trainer. I also discussed the importance in terms of maintaining muscle mass after the age of 50 or menopause. Once a woman loose their muscle mass, it is almost impossible for them to regain it, and the muscle mass is not only important for the basal metabolic rate and weight maintenance or control, it is also important for osteoporosis prevention, bone protection should one slip for fall, and it is also makes women over the age of 50 less likely to fall because they have better muscle strength and a better righting reflex and greater stability on their feet."

A lot of women in their 60's wonder why they have severe osteoporosis. I can only say, while it is still early and while we still are mentruating (we have enough estrogen), we drink milk (with calcium), expose ourselves to the sun (vit D activates dietary calcium for utilization by the body), and of course, exercise (our body reacts to the physical stress by building mass). Because even with the raw materials for building muscles and bones, we will not build them unless our body sees the need to (to be able to react to physical stress).

I also saw once in Discovery Science channel about astronauts who spent more than a year in space (weightless), who experience atrophy of muscles and weakening of bones (because of osteoporosis) simply because the gravity force was no longer there to stimulate these bodily structures. They came home having the need to be supported by several colleagues once alighting their space shuttle, as they could barely support themselves.

Benefits of exercise? Weight loss/maintenance is just one of them...


Tina said...

Hi Manang,

You might want to earn extra money with blogging professionally with your MT knowledge and of course with your medical background. You have great teaching skills in which you engage you reader very well. You don't have to do too much "adjusting to it" as you have a great blog already.

Take care,

Manang said...

Hi Tina,

I tried reading bits of info in that website and I was just overwhelmed. How do I start earning through my blog? Will I qualify even if I irregularly post?

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