How to Cure Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a preventable disorder that mainly affects women. There are multiple factors that contribute to Osteoporosis but the number one enemy is leading a sedentary lifestyle. While it is true that both Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary to build strong bones it is also a fact that unless you do weight bearing exercise your bones will not absorb and utilize these vitamins and minerals!
The best way to cure Osteoporosis is not to develop it in the first place. The best way to do this is to begin an exercise program while you are still gaining bone density from childhood throughout your twenties. In your late twenties you stop accumulating bone mass and start to gradually lose bone density. The good news is that you can fight this bone loss by doing “weight bearing exercise”. Specifically the best type of weight bearing exercise is the type that incorporates dynamic movements and multiple impacts……..like running.
Let’s face it, many of us don’t like to run. Maybe it our memories of high school gym teachers torturing us by forcing us to run around tracks in blistering heat or biting cold. Maybe when we tried to run our feet or knees hurt or maybe you were just a lazy kid who was doing his/her best to not exert themselves. The great thing about running as an adult is that it can be done on your own time, at your own pace and without a gym membership. You can also pick a goal such as a 5K or even a half marathon to help keep you motivated. For those of you that are social you can join a local running group and meet new friends with similar goals. Now you are on your way to preserving your bones, staying healthy and living an active lifestyle.
What if you already have low bone density (Osteopenia) or have already developed Osteoporosis? Modern Medicine and the internet would have you believe that all you need to do is eat some calcium, take the newest, greatest drug and start a walking program. While this might be a good start there is an inherent problem with this program. First off you should not have to rely on drugs. Secondly, we have already established that calcium by itself will not build bone. Lastly, while walking is better than nothing it does not really provide enough impact and bone stimulation to build significant bone mass. Our bodies are very good at adapting and responding to stress. In fact they are so good at it that they stop responding unless progressive stimulation is provided. Bodybuilders have known this for years. In order for them to grow muscle they must consistently lift heavier weights or do more repetitions. Muscle and bone are physiologically the same meaning they are both classified as connective tissue and both will only grow in response to adequate stress. For this reason walking for exercise will not provide enough stimulation over a long period of time to result in significant calcium and vitamin D uptake and bone stimulation. Running on the other hand will.
Up until now it has been almost impossible for those with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis to begin a running program safely. In addition many patients with Osteoporosis have other preexisting condition such as hip and knee Osteoarthritis, recent history of fracture or joint and muscle pain that prevents them for wanting to exercise much less run. But now with modern technology you can begin a safe, effective and most importantly progressive program that allows you to gradually run at a lower body weight which in turn will be less stressful (and painful) on your bones, muscles and joints. This revolutionary technology is called the Anti-Gravity Treadmill or AlterG.
The AlterG was designed by NASA scientists and allows for us to alter your body weight (lowering it) while you walk or run on it in our office. By lowering your body weight we remove the excessive stress on your bones, muscles and joints so that you can walk or run safely, without risk and pain free! A typical AlterG program starts with us doing a free demo to establish what percent of your body weight will be a safe starting point. We then design a progressive, personalized program for you so that your bones, muscles and joints are stimulated to respond to the forces by building new bone, muscle and cartilage. Week by week as your body adapts we gradually add body weight back using this amazing technology. So as your body is capable of handling more impact forces we are essentially making you heavier which then results in progressive resistance and physiologic adaption!