Thanks to everybody for filling out the questionaires from Monday's class. Now I can tailor this project to meet our specific needs and abilities. It looks like we're all into this for our health, with some of us wanting to see some weight loss, too, so I'm going to use that as the main perspective, with some emphasis on nutrition, injuries and overall health. I have learned a lot researching this project, and I hope you all learn a few new things along the way, too.
(and yes, I'll fix the graphic on Monday's post, I forgot the copyright & one of you are bound to point out that I know better, so I'll try to get it done before Cuddz tries to take her copyright scissors to the blog! --ouch, dammit, don't poke ME with 'em, either!)
Today's Mini Lecture:
One of the best benefits of regular exercise for women is that it can help improve bone health, a serious health issue for women as they age. Did you all know that by age 30 most of us are already experiencing some bone loss? And, depending on several other factors such as heredity, diet & exercise--or lack of it--bone loss can even begin in our teens and twenties? There's not a darn thing I can do about your gene pool, but diet & exercise is what this project is all about. So let's discuss diet as it relates to bone loss over the next few days. Today I've got a list for you of everyday foodstuff that has been proven to contribute to bone loss.
Calcium sapping foods
Salt saps calcium from the bones. For every 2300 mg of sodium that you take in, you lose about 40 mg of calcium. Most of us ingest more than double the 2300 mg/day standard. The biggest problem is processed foods.
Foods to avoid:
processed & deli meats (also linked to colon cancer)
For every 100 mg of caffeine you take in, you lose 6 mg of calcium. Although tea and coffee contain a lot of caffeine, one of the biggest calcium grabbers out there, soft drinks, are the worst here, because not only are they high in caffeine, but also because the carbonation is usually from phosporic acid, which also increases the rate at which calcium is excreted in urine. It's thought to be a leading factor in the formation of kidney stones, a very painful condition.
Recent research has shown that you really can get too much of a good thing. The modern diet, full of eggs and full-fat milk is rich in Vitamin A, which is important for vision and the immune system. But most fortified foods, such as packaged breakfast cereals, also contain Vitamin A, as do our daily multivitamins. So it's possible to get much more than the recommended 5,000 mg/day, which most researchers think is already too high. Research has shown that women who exceed 5,000 IU's/day had more than twice the bone fracture rate of women whose intake was 1,600 IU's/day. What to do? Switch to low fat or nonfat dairy products only, and check your multivitamin. If it's high in Vitamin A, switch to a different brand.
Think of alcohol as a calcium blocker. It prevents the bone-building minerals we eat from being absorbed. It also blocks osteoblasts, the bone-building cells, from doing their job, so if you do get a fracture, you'll heal more slowly.
In addition to the other harm they cause, hydrogenated oils have lost their Vitamin K, which is the little goodie that makes our blood clot, and it's essential for strong bones. Natural vegetable oils, such as olive & cannola oil are the richest sources of this necessary nutrient, with dark leafy vegetables such as spinach running a distant second.
The solution? Less baked goods, unless you bake at home with non-hydrogenated oils, and more dark green leafy vegetables.
Today's Walk: 15-30 minutes at a steady pace, finish with 5-10 minutes at a more controlled, slower pace than your usual walk. Just take it down half a notch, it gives your muscles as well as your heart a nice slowdown. At the halfway point raise your arms & give yourself a good stretch. You can pause to stretch out your upper body, or you can do it as you walk.
Always keep your arms moving in rhythm with your walk, it not only adds to your workout, it also improves your circulation as well as your balance.
Todays homework (reply in the comments area, please)
Be honest about how you eat-- which of these calcium sappers are you most guilty of? Tell me your guilty secrets & also give me a short plan on how you'll improve these areas.
See you tomorrow, happy walking!