Are NASA’s Suggestions On How To Increase Bone Density Correct?
Back in 1892, a German anatomist named Julius Wolff theorized that bone is created and changed in response to gravitational pressure. A fascinating and thorough new study confirms once again that he was right.
If you’re a member of the Save Our Bones community, no doubt you’ve heard about the importance of weight-bearing exercise and nutrition to strengthen bones. This recent study, involving astronauts on the International Space Station, confirms such bone-healthy wisdom.
You may be wondering how a study conducted in space can possibly relate to you. After all, here on earth we need to be concerned about falls and fractures.
But what was discovered in space actually has great relevance for us earthlings who are concerned about bone health.
Exercise is Not Enough: Bones Need Specific Nutrients to be Strong
While the right exercises are crucial to prevent fractures, the right nutrients are no less important. If you already have the Save Our Bones Program, you have the Foundation Supplement checklist along with the exact daily dosages you need to take for optimal bone health.
Researchers are just now beginning to admit there is a connection between nutrition and bone health (beyond the scope of calcium). In fact, despite their research, the scientists in this recent astronaut study still aren’t sure what constitutes “good nutrition.”
But the Save Our Bones Program does know what constitutes good nutrition, and it’s all scientifically-backed and presented in a clear, readable manner.
Astronauts Build Their Bones
The study I mentioned earlier,1 which was published in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, centered on providing the International Space Station astronauts with “good nutrition” (focused mainly on adequate calories and protein), supplements, and exercise. The results showed an increase in their bone mineral density.
What Vitamins Did the Astronauts Take?
The supplement used for the study was Vitamin D, one of Save Our Bones’ Foundation Supplements. My regular readers know how important Vitamin D is for your bones and those who are following the Program have the complete vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant checklist so they know exactly what and how much to take of each. Consuming Vitamin D was part of the overall regimen that built the bones of these space-dwellers.
But Why Astronauts?
This study was conducted on astronauts because loss of bone density and strength is a major problem for those who spend time in zero gravity. Astronauts on long-term space missions have experienced bone density reduction to the point that it is a major medical concern. Without gravity to create the resistance needed for weight-bearing exercise, bones do not get the healthy stress they need to build and remodel. There’s no way to do weight-bearing exercises in space, because there is no “weight”!
This shows the vital importance of weight-bearing exercise in maintaining bone density. It’s undeniable that bones grow weaker without it.
Exercising in Space
In addition to taking Vitamin D and eating a “healthy” diet, the astronauts worked out regularly using an ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device). Because weight-lifting is out of the question in a zero-gravity environment, the ARED provided the resistance necessary to build bone by mimicking the gravitational resistance bones experience when you exercise here on earth.
At the end of the study, astronauts’ who took Vitamin D, exercised regularly on the ARED, and ate sufficient calories showed increased bone breakdown and bone renewal. In other words, remodeling and renewing were going strong, and bone density did not decrease despite the weightless environment.
“…these data mark the first significant progress in protecting bone through diet and exercise,” said NASA’s head nutritionist, Dr. Scott Smith.
At Save Our Bones, we’ve known this all along.
How to Exercise for Healthy Bones
Just what kinds of exercises were these astronauts doing? What constitutes a bone-healthy exercise?
All types of exercise have some benefit, but if you want to build strong bones, it’s important to engage in specific moves that can build bone, as the astronauts showed us.
This is why I created the Densercise eBook System, a complete exercise program to take you through a fast yet effective total bone-building workout.
Densercise for Stronger Bones
In the Densercise eBook System you’ll find simple yet powerful techniques that are specifically designed to help strengthen your bones and increase their density and flexibility.
A word on flexibility, or tensile strength – strong bones need more than just increased density. Denser bones are only beneficial if they are also flexible. Bones made dense by osteoporosis drugs may result in better bone scan scores, but the tests don’t show that the drugs have made bones harder, less flexible, and more breakable. So building your bone mineral density through diet, supplements, and exercise means you will also increase tensile strength, making your bones more resistant to fracture.
This exercise targets the hips and thighs, key areas for building bone density. Here is how you do it.
1. Stand in front of a step, such as the bottom step on a flight of stairs or a portable “step” designed for workouts.
2. Place your hands on your hips.
3. Keeping your back straight, lift your right foot and place it flat on the step.
4. Push up through your right foot, lifting yourself up so your right leg is straight.
5. Tap your left toe on the step.
6. Lower your left foot back down and place it flat on the floor.
Repeat 20 times.
Rest for 10 seconds, and switch sides.
Beginning with your left foot on the step this time, repeat the exercise for another set of 20.
Keep up this pattern of 20 repetitions per side until the 5 minutes are up.
Make sure you practice the Step-Up for at least 5 minutes a day, along with 30 minutes of exercises with light weights. If you already own the complete Densercise eBook System, you know that just 15 minutes three times a week is all you need to improve your bone density.
Out of This World Bone Density Results With Densercise
The Step-Up is just one example of the exercises presented in the 4-week Densercise eBook System, where you’ll find other targeted moves such as the Pelvic Tilt, the Wall Squat, and the Pray and Pull, all complete with illustrations and step-by-step instructions.
I’ve designed the Densercise eBook System so that you can practice the exercises you need to build your bones with minimum effort to get maximum density results because:
- All 52 Densercise moves are illustrated and include instructions so there’s no guess work and you can clearly follow along.
- It is a complete, full-body exercise system for your bones.
- It clearly walks you through a complete 4 week exercise schedule.
- Thanks to the super-targeted Densercise moves along with the Density Training Method, you only need to practice the moves for 15 minutes a day.
- Each day has 3 moves that target different muscles and bones.
- Every day is different so you never get bored with the same old routine.
- The Densercise eBook features a variety of weight bearing, resistance, flexibility moves and more, making it the most complete bone exercise system to date.
- Plus you’ll get instant access to the Densercise Online Video Collection. Each move is demonstrated on video making it even easier for you to get started.
Till next time,
1 Scott M. Smith, et al. “Benefits for bone from resistance exercise and nutrition in long-duration spaceflight: Evidence from biochemistry and densitometry.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2012; 27 (9): 1896 DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.1647