Gardening Is A Great Osteoporosis Exercise
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:
- Take a deep breath to relax
- Have some time for yourself every day, even if only a few minutes
- Stretch your muscles
- Read something inspirational, preferably in the morning
- Don’t forget that the glass is always half full
- Let go of unnecessary worry
- Smile and laugh often
- Give back to society and you’ll be happier
- Remember life is a journey; not a destination
- 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…