The Save Our Bones Daily Double Challenge: Day #6
What: Eat at least one polyphenol-rich food in season now.
Why: Polyphenols are antioxidants found in plants, and while you may be well aware of their importance to maintain overall health, you may not realize how important they are to your bone health.
The purpose of polyphenols (and any antioxidant) is to “mop up” free radicals in your body before they can do damage. Free-radical damage is called oxidation, and it is not unlike rust on metal which forms by a similar process.
Unchecked oxidation brings about a host of health problems. As far as bone health goes, oxidation causes excessive bone resorption which can result in lower bone density. Antioxidants “step in” to stop bone loss from progressing, and they do this by several processes.
First, antioxidants eradicate free radicals before they can disable your bone-building cells (osteoblasts) and stimulate the cells that tear down bone (osteoclasts). This is a somewhat indirect way that antioxidants preserve your bone density. They also do so in a more direct way.
Some flavonoids actually have an estrogenic effect in the body, but they do not override natural biological processes. On the contrary, they actually work with these processes and bind to estrogen receptors. This is far preferable to artificially introducing a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen (as in HRT, or hormone replacement therapy) into the body.
How: Consider all the wonderful foods in season now, and incorporate at least one of them into your daily diet. Here are some polyphenol-rich options:
- Plums (these are acidifying, but they are not off-limits; simply balance them with the appropriate alkalizing foods)
These are all Foundation Foods that are included in the Save Our Bones Program. They are rich sources of many bone-healthy nutrients, especially polyphenols.
What: Practice these 3 neck stretching exercises at least once a day.
Why: Neck stretching exercises help improve posture, align the spine, relieve pain and stiffness, and prevent misalignment and the dreaded “hunchback.”
These exercises are designed to strengthen and tone your neck muscles, as well as stretch them gently to prevent and relieve tightness. You’ll notice that your neck will feel a lot better and you’ll have a more graceful posture.
In addition, such isometric exercises improve bone density. Research backs up their effectiveness – several studies have shown the benefits of exercising the neck muscles for those with osteoporosis. On study in particular comes to us from the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Center in California. The results clearly showed increased muscle strength, and the study concluded that neck exercises “are capable of enhancing bone formation…”. 1
How: Do these exercises in sequence.
1. Cervical Flexion and Extension
- Sit up straight in a comfortable chair (you can stand if you prefer).
- Tuck in your chin and gently move your head down and forward.
- Try to touch your chest with your chin (the object is not to actually touch your chin to your chest; the point is to feel the stretch).
- Then do the opposite – look up and bend your head backward as far as it will comfortably go.
- Repeat at least 5 times or do as many repetitions as you comfortably can.
2. Cervical Lateral Flexion Stretch
- Slowly tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear down to your right shoulder.
- Only go as far as you are comfortable. Your ear does not have to touch your shoulder.
- Make sure you’re not turning your head as you do this, and keep your shoulders level.
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Repeat the stretch on the left side.
- Do 5 sets or as many as you comfortably can.
3. Cervical Rotation Stretch
- Turn your head to the right as far as you can – try to get your chin over your shoulder.
- Do not tilt your head or raise your shoulders when you do this exercise – keep your chin level.
- Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Do the same thing on the left side.
- Repeat this set 5 times or as many times as comfortable.
These neck stretches help strengthen your neck muscles and promote bone density in your cervical vertebrae.
Other Easy Ways to Build Strong Bones
When I wrote the Densercise™ eBook System, I had this very thing in mind: targeted exercises that are specifically designed to improve strength, flexibility, and density in your bones. Densercise™ focuses on those areas of the body that are most prone to fracture, such as wrists, hips, and ankles.
Densercise™ is based on Wolff’s law, which states that tension from muscular and gravitational forces stimulates bone cell production. Densercise™ combines weight-bearing exercises with postural and resistance exercises, so the benefits overlap.
And it only takes 15 minutes, 3 days a week to see results with Densercise™, whether it’s feeling more youthful, regaining flexibility and bone density, or improving your balance.
There’s no risk; with a 60-day, money-back guarantee, you can request a no-questions-asked refund if you’re not satisfied for any reason.
Till next time,
1 Swezey RL, Swezey A, Adams J. “Isometric progressive resistive exercise for osteoporosis.” Journal of Rheumatology 2000:27(5), pp1260-64. Web. http://www.neckpainreliefkit.com/neckexercises