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Gardening Is A Great Osteoporosis Exercise

gardening

As featured in the June issue of South Sound Woman Magazine

Spring is finally here and a light breeze fills the air with the fresh scent of renewal. Like multicolored stars from a far-away galaxy, tiny blooms are gathering their courage to welcome the new season.  Once again, it’s time to go out and enjoy your garden with friends and family, wear your summer whites, and marvel at the beauty that surrounds you.

What greater pleasure is there than to admire your own handiwork in the garden? If you’re like me, putting on a pair of gloves and tending to the garden is a pastime that I could not imagine having to give up.

So here’s the good news for those of you who think that you won’t be able to enjoy your gardening because of osteoporosis:  it turns out that gardening is actually good for your bone health.

First, I’d like to dissipate the doom and gloom that clouds the truth about osteoporosis. As I reveal in the Save Our Bones Program, osteoporosis is not a disease but rather “a condition of the skeletal system typical of middle aged and older individuals.  It is caused by unhealthy biochemical reactions as the body attempts to correct an imbalance that, unless certain abnormal endocrine or gastrointestinal conditions exist, can be reversed by diet and lifestyle changes.”

In short, osteoporosis is not a condition that we’re “afflicted” with, but rather a controllable and manageable “imbalance” that can be easily corrected if only we know how.  This alone should make you breathe a sigh of relief—we can take control of our bone health and gardening can help us do just that.

As the old proverb goes, “he who plants a garden plants happiness.”  Indeed, gardening is a very calming hobby; and this does wonders in helping maintain strong and healthy bones.

Believe it or not, stress causes calcium leakage from our bones.  I’ll explain… When we get stressed, our bodies produce the hormone cortisol also known as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol acidifies the pH levels in our body tissues to a level that requires immediate correction.  In other words, our bodies need to neutralize this “acid attack.” Like water onto a blazing fire, we release calcium from our bones to achieve the correct alkaline levels (this is why the active ingredient of antacid tablets is, you guessed it, calcium)

Besides gardening, here are 10 other great ways you can easily reduce stress:

  1. Take a deep breath to relax
  2. Have some time for yourself every day, even if only a few minutes
  3. Stretch your muscles
  4. Read something inspirational, preferably in the morning
  5. Don’t forget that the glass is always half full
  6. Let go of unnecessary worry
  7. Smile and laugh often
  8. Give back to society and you’ll be happier
  9. Remember life is a journey; not a destination
  10. Take time to remember your blessings

Oh, and let’s not forget about the sunshine, another benefit of gardening that contributes to our bone health.  You see, sunlight is an excellent natural source of vitamin D, a very important vitamin that has many functions in our bodies.

When our skin is exposed to direct sunlight, we produce a naturally occurring form of vitamin D called Cholecalciferol.  Its primary function is the stimulation of calcium and magnesium absorption, both essential to maintaining strong and healthy bones.

So step outside and enjoy the fresh air and the calming effect of gardening, without any worries about osteoporosis. And next time, I’ll explain why climbing the Himalayas is also good to your bone health. Just kidding…

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16 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Susie July 27, 2011, 5:40 pm

    I’m new to your website and am really staying busy reading all this info. Your info is so varied so I thought I would ask you an off-the-wall question that no one else has heard of.
    I get a “smell” that wafts by me OFTEN that smells like something has burned. It happens not only at my home, but almost everywhere I go. I always ask others around me if they smell anything and NO ONE ever does. I must be getting too much of something or lacking something? I don’t know, but it has gone on for a couple of years now and it really bothers me. Have you ever heard of this

  2. Lynne August 10, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Yes, gardening and yoga saved my life these last four years I could no longer walk my normal three miles per day, or continue my first love, horseback riding. We have five acres to tend to and I have planted every bit of the shubs and trees (with my husband helping to dig the holes). It’s very rewarding and calming exercise. I have to be careful and stop when I know my back has had enough, however.

  3. Francie Ewing August 9, 2010, 11:03 pm

    I am so grateful I found your website, Vivian. I’ve had Osteopenia about four years and finally decided last year to eliminate drugs totally, against my doctor’s recommendation. Thru your Save Your Bones Program and information on your website, I look forward to overcoming Osteopenia and maintain complete bone and general health. I am 67 years old. You’re my hero.

  4. Erika Chemnitz May 24, 2010, 3:25 am

    Hi,
    I have read the book and it is great.
    With a T-score of between -4.00 and -4.76 I have a problem.!
    I think it’s gastro-intestinal related. I am living in Australia, where no doctor (trust me) measures the gastric acid level. What can I do to improve on it or are there any other means to find out what the values are?
    Thanks and bye for now from Downunder. Erika Chemnitz

    • Dr Marysia de Klerk RN ND Medical Herbal Cosultant May 13, 2011, 2:19 am

      Suggest you obtain pH test strips and do a saliva and urine test. Instructions can be found on quality test paper obstructions, the values are usually present.

  5. Susan Lerner May 9, 2010, 8:06 am

    Great info – thank you! I love getting my exercise in the garden!
    Another way to shift the acid-load of the body is with the kind of water we drink… Kangen Water™ from Japan is alkaline, anti-oxidant and micro-clustered – drinking it brings the body back to homeostasis. Most bottled waters are acidic, and all are oxidizing – including tap water! Learn more: http://www.healingwater4life.info. The e-book has excellent info about alkalizing the body.

  6. Michele Lewis April 10, 2010, 1:02 pm

    In May I will be a 4 year cancer survivor. I was FORTUNATE last year to move to a state with sunshine every day but after my move I got the shocking news I had osteopenia.
    I took 7 treatments of actonel suffering almost every side effect listed on the pamplet.
    Surfing the net I found you. I look forward
    to your daily helpful suggestions on saving my bones.
    You are a blessing! Thank you for all the help you give to others.

  7. Irene Turner March 25, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Dear Dr.Vivian
    I can`t thank you enough for all the inspirational advice given. I am trying very hard with the food and exercise tips.
    Irene

  8. Yvonne White November 10, 2009, 12:05 am

    Are tomatoes just as good for your bones if cooked with olive oil just until tender? I never cook anything for hours!
    What about just adding some olive oil to tomato products that are already cooked such as tomato or marinara sauce? Would that work?
    Thanks for your reply.

  9. Linda Meyer October 27, 2009, 12:07 pm

    What kind of surface is best to do the heel/jump exercises. Is it best to wear shoes (tennis)or do it on carpeting in barefeet? I live in the north and outside exercising is not always an option. Thanks!!

  10. Monica Phillips October 24, 2009, 10:11 am

    Hello Vivienne,
    I do the stage 1 in my tai chi class. Will make sure I do it every day. Unfortunately step 2 & 3 will be too much on my knees. Thanks again for your info. Best wishes Monica Phillips

  11. Loretta Brown October 23, 2009, 11:29 am

    Hello Vivian,

    Thanks for sharing the exercise video with us. After reading your book I did decide to delay taking the Osteoperosis medications my doctor had recommended until I could learn more about tackling my diagnosis naturally. In addition to changing my diet I have started a weight bearing exercise program and it will be great to add these hip exercises to my regimen. Thanks forall you do to educate us trying to find better alternatives for ourselves.

    Loretta

  12. beverly kendall October 22, 2009, 8:56 pm

    I have had IBS for 10 years. I have also been diagnoised with osteroporois. Can i improve my bone density with your program even though i have the IBS problem. I talke LIBRAX 3x daily with meals to help. most of the time it helps but sometimes its running to the restroom after a meal. Thank you for your time and answer. waiting to hear from you.

  13. Judy in Charlotte October 22, 2009, 5:49 pm

    I was wondering if the jumping exercise is effective with sneakers on or is it best barefoot. I wear othodics and would like to use the support. Thanks for your help.

  14. Kelsey Fickling October 7, 2009, 9:51 pm

    Thanks for your (always)encouraging words Vivian. The early morning sun and late afternoon sun is the best here in Queensland to collect our share of free Vitamin D. – that is also the best time for me to water my garden – and change my potplants around – and cut some bougainvillea – and quissquailis – sometimes I take my fruit out in the morning (eat it fighting the bees) while I get my Vitamin D. I’ve only begun to do this since receiving your words of wisdom Vivian. Thanks again!!!! Kelsey Fickling. Q’ld. Australia.

  15. rose in coffs harbour , australia September 13, 2009, 3:05 am

    Yes gardening is very good for one’s well being.  I enjoy my time in our garden. Especially early in the morning when all the birds are
    going about their business, and the air is fresh and crisp.

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