When it comes to your bone health, you’re right to think it’s a very big deal. After all, your bones make up your skeleton, which is your body’s fundamental support structure. But fortunately, it doesn’t take a big effort to bring about significant improvement in your bone health.
That’s why today I’m going to share three small tweaks that are designed to help two key areas of bone health: improving posture and preventing crippling falls.
Can Good Posture Strengthen Your Bones?
Standing up straight involves more than just looking good. Your posture actually affects the integrity of your bones, and here’s why.
Exercise and proper posture put “good stress” on your bones, stimulating them to become stronger and denser at the point of stress. Conversely, poor posture misaligns your bones and joints, thereby putting the wrong kind of stress (in the wrong places) on your bones. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and a lack of healthy movement.
Proper posture keeps your bones in their correct position so they can function optimally, and the stress of gravity and muscle action work to strengthen and increase bone health. So for those with osteoporosis, good posture is particularly crucial.
Backaches And Balance: More Than Just A Pain In The Back
Back pain can be some of the most excruciating pain you experience. Because your spine is so central to your range of motion, when your back hurts, it affects the movement and the balance of your entire body. Your quality of life diminishes and you stop exercising, and the lack of movement makes your pain and balance worse increasing your chances of falling. You see, it’s a vicious cycle.
But you’re not helpless in the face of poor posture or balance! Here are three tweaks – small changes you can make in your daily habits – that can break the cycle.
1. Stop Carrying A Heavy Handbag
Anyone, regardless of age, can suffer postural misalignment and pain from carrying a heavy bag on one arm or, even worse, shoulder. Whether it’s a big purse or a weighty laptop and briefcase, one-sided toting can wreak havoc on your neck, shoulder, and vertebral alignment. To minimize the effects of heavy handbag posture, here are some easy tips:
- Keep your handbag weight below 3 pounds (make sure the handbag itself is lightweight as well).
- Choose a small bag with wide, padded straps that evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. It’s important that the handbag is small – if it’s large, it will soon become heavy.
- Don’t carry your handbag on one side only – switch often.
- Ergonomic handbags are also helpful, but the above tips still apply.
- A backpack or backpack-style purse is another way to prevent one-sided carrying.
2. Pay Attention To How Your Stand And Sit
Sitting and standing are things we do every day many times over, so it’s easy to stop paying attention to how we’re doing them. But the reality is, sitting and standing both put pressure on the lower back, especially if you have poor posture.
When you sit slumped, hunched, or leaning back, the wrong areas of your pelvis and lower back take the pressure, and the natural curvature of the spine becomes compromised. Your bones do not receive the healthy stress they need to stay strong. As a result, your back hurts.
Standing can also be strenuous on your lower back, especially if you stand in a “swayback” posture, where your lower back curve is exaggerated and your belly curves outward. This is why swayback posture contributes to a pot-bellied appearance. (We’ll discuss some abdominal exercises later.) It also can cause significant lower back pain.
Try some of these tips to help you be mindful of your body’s position while you sit or stand.
- Get a good look at yourself using a full-length mirror. Stand as you normally would and look for signs of poor posture: rounded shoulders, caved-in appearance to your chest, a swayback, one shoulder higher than the other, and so forth. If possible, keep a mirror near your workspace so you can check your posture as you sit, too.
- If you have to stand for long periods, change positions as often as you can. If you can put one foot up on a stool periodically, do so, and switch feet often.
- If you sit at a desk, pull your chair up close enough that you don’t have to reach too far forward to write or type. Don’t pull it too close, though, or you’ll find yourself hunching forward and down.
- If you tend to be swaybacked, use a stool or other prop to raise your knees slightly above your pelvis.
- Get up and move, stretch, and change positions at least every 30 minutes (20 is best) if you have to sit for a long time.
3. Stand Up Straight To Strengthen Abdominal Muscles
When you stand properly, your abdominal muscles will get a mini workout. This is why it might feel difficult or strange when you first begin.
To strengthen your abdominal and pelvic muscles and avoid or correct the potbellied appearance associated with poor posture, try some of these exercises to help you stand up straight.
- Periodically pull your lower abdominal muscles inward, trying to flatten them. Think of gently pulling your belly button toward your spine. Do this 3 or 4 times, then repeat the set throughout the day.
- Tuck your bottom in, reducing the curvature of your lower back. This involves the abdominals, since they help pull the pelvis backward (the pelvis is tilted forward in a swayback position).
- Stand tall, but avoid the “military stance” that can exaggerate a swayback. Instead, imagine a string going from the top of your head to the ceiling, gently pulling it upward. Your spine will lengthen and your abdominal muscles will engage.
An Effective Standing Abdominal Exercise: The Canoe
This exercise is adapted from the motions involved in paddling a canoe or kayak. It does not require any special equipment, but you can use weights if you want (a can of soup or small hand weight is fine). Here’s how to do it:
- Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Turn your toes outward at an angle (not straight out) and keep your knees loose.
- Instead of holding a canoe paddle, clasp your hands together (or hold the weight) and hold your arms straight out in front of you at chest level.
- Turn your upper body and bring your hands down to your right hip, like paddling. Your head should turn also.
- Return to the center position where your hands are clasped in front, then repeat on the left side.
- Do a set of 20 (10 on each side) or as many as you comfortably can.
The Canoe tones and strengthens your abdominals and core muscles, which are pivotal in maintaining good posture.
While this particular exercise is not included in the Densercise System, many core-strengthening, posture-improving exercises are. Based on the principle of epidensity (more on that in a moment), Densercise is the only exercise program specifically designed to increase bone density. The moves target key areas of the skeleton with healthy stress that stimulates bone formation.
Epidensity is a fascinating new area of research that incorporates the latest genetic research with the principles of Wolff’s Law, which (in sum) states that living tissue, specifically bone, is created and changed in response to gravity and muscle tension.
You see, exciting new research shows that you have more control over your genetic tendencies than you may have thought. While you can’t change your genetic code, research strongly suggests that changes in your body’s environment can actually change how your genes are expressed.
Simply put, you have the ability to “turn on” or “turn off” some genetic traits. Isn’t that amazing? Basically, this means that you’re never stuck with the bones you have!
The moves in Densercise actually work as “switches” stimulating the genes that influence bone growth.
Please click here for more information about Densercise and the revolutionary epigenetics approach. And remember, if you’re not satisfied with Densercise for any reason, you are free to return it within 60 days of purchase for a full refund.
Till next time,
Comments on this article are closed.
I am interested in the yoga dvd for osteoporosis that was on your website at one time but cannot find it now. Is it still available?
What do you think about Alkame water………alkamewater.com……..claims (boost immune system, oxygenated,alkaline…….
You stress that we should be drinking distilled water….,,,,do. You have any knowledge on this?
Hi, the excercises for strengthing back , Canoe, is it in your densercise program?
Can I strengthen the bones in my shoulders. I am 80 this year and hardly have any shoulders left. Can’t keep my bras straps up!!! HELP Are there any shoulder exercises I can do?
Hi, I am hoping Vivian or somone else reading this will provide some response. It seems that most questions are not getting answered on here, which is a bit disappointing.
My question is what, if any, muli-vitamin is recommended. I purchased the SaveOurBones program last year, and am taking an AlgaeCal based calcium supplement, with D3, K2, etc. But Vivian recommends many other Vitamins and minerals to take. I do not want to take 20 pills a day, so was wondering what a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is that I can take along with my calcium supplement. Thanks.
I’m deeply disappointed with this company. I ordered the Wellness program on 31 Oct 2013 & have to date not received it!! I have yet to receive any response from Vivian or the supposed support group to my last email sent on the 28 Jan 2014.
I WANT MY MONEY BACK
Very interesting!! Have you never thought to the possibility of using an inversion table to improve the posture? Read more on https://ironman-gravity-4000.homefitnessequipmentblog.com
Do you have to take extra vitamin D 3 when talking TruOsteo?
Can you tell me why fingernails curl down to touch the top of the finger when I let them grow..? Nails and bones are related so this condition has me worried about my bone health. I have your books and try to follow your eating plan but don’t know why my nails do this! Thanks for any help.
I love reading this latest blog. Please believe what Viviene says is correct. I have had 40% scoliosis all my life from mild polio in the 40’s. Had full blown osteoporisis 15 years ago. Today I am almost 70. I took Fosamax, Reclast & Boniva (where did Sally Fields go?) for 15 years. I began to get jaw rot (osteonecrosis) & ear aches. I found Viv on line & began to eat 80% alakline & 20% acicid and threw away all the meds. Today I am swimming 72 laps a day (1 mile at high school,Jr. olympic pool), riding hunter/jumpers & jumping 3 ft. ( you use your legs) and x-country skiing 30K, 15K & 10 K & just competed in the Asiago Master’s Olympics in Italy last March. I promise you it is an easy program. Toss away ALL those RX’s & believe in yourself. And don’t worry about it or think about it a lot. Also, I still date a well known spinal surgeon who has been in practice for 32 years from Long Beach & I argue with him every time I see him. It is all a bunch of you know what. Love to everyone & get your heads on straitght & believe in yourself. PS/ I have wanted to email this for a long time, but now after one year I know it is soooo true. Jan Toohey, Laguna Beach, Ca., Sun Valley, Idaho
Wow,full blown osteoporosis? What was your T score? Did you increase your bone density doing all of these activities. Just curious
I am confused about whether distilled water is good for your bones. I bought a distiller after reading that it was best for bone health. I drink it all day. Now I read in many health articles that distilled water is acidic and leaches minerals from your bones and should NOT be consumed on a daily basis. I have osteoporosis and have refused drugs that my doctor recommends. I eat a vegan diet and exercise daily. Which is true?
What about distiled water taking minerals from bones/or more info about distiled water???
I have your Densercise exercises printed out some time ago but to be honest I dont like to exercise with it as you have to turn these pages and it distract my tempo a lot.
I’d love to have on dvd as it is so much easier to exercise with somebody!! Any chance for one soon?
I started to place my order but your price went from $297 to $299. You stated it would be shipped in 2 days – then gave prices for shipping and the price for 2nd day shipping was more.
I am not quibbling over a few dollars as much as I’m thinking your word should be reliable and I’m wondering how reliable can it be if I’m already concerned about it and have not even begun to work w/your program.
My last bone density scan showed that I have osteoporosis (T score 2.7) in the left hip. My doctors are trying to scare me into using the drugs approved by the FDA such as Prolia, recast, etc. I am afraid of these drugs. Can I rely on Save Our Bones to do as much as the drugs that doctors push?
My doctor says that there is no food or exercise that can build bone density.
Thank u very much Vivian! for the stomach and back exercises. I will make an effort to do so. Philomena
Wow Cindy. Ungrateful people like you make me sick. Vivian gives us so much for nothing. if you don’t like book return it. My life wouldn’t be the same without her so go get free treatment from the drug companies and your doctor. I’m sticking with Vivian!!
Please try to print a book for the dencercise program.
I am sure ,that there are other folks who would prefer this.
Please give it some thought.
Well said! I have the program but have always been skeptical of the promised results. Most of the programs that keep hounding on the internet are money making ventures in my opinion.
Vivian, thanks for keeping us up to date on info we wouldn’t otherwise know about.
After downloading my Densercise program I have not been able to access it. Can you guide me?
That Was Very Good Advice On How To Improve Our Posture And Balance. I Do Some Of Those Things Already.
Thank You Very Much For All Your Very Helpful Articles.
How can I order Bone Appetite and especially the Blender receipe book. I have the Save our Bones book and the Densercize electronic program. Thanks
Years ago my voice coach told us to imagine a string pulling up from the center of our sternum, rather than the top of our head. The reasoning is that it helps keep our shoulders and head aligned.
Thanks, Vivian, for your research and support. It is appreciated.
I bought Densercise, but I never use it b/c it is an electronic copy. I like to work out at the gym so I can get away from the distractions of home, but I can’t very easily take my laptop or iPad into the workout room- it’s just impractical. Please consider making a hard copy of Dencercise.
seems some of my last comment disappeared:
best thing has been Pilates, aimed specifically at osteoporosis. Bone density has stopped decreasing and incrementally increased!
Diagnosed several years ago with osteoporosis, as well as having had double curvature of the spine since childhood. One of the best things for me has be(bone density) have improved over the past few years and I continue with private sessions 1x/week. I would say it has saved my life! I also have a great osteopathic doctor who has helped keep me aligned, and offered an array of supplements, mostly needed to support and assimilate calcium absorption. It also seems to matter what formulation of calcium supplement one takes.
I bought your densexercsie programme some time ago, but cannot access it.
Please – how do I get my info. on the screen Sorry
best wishes Margaret
I have taken actonel for ten years. I’m 88 years old, and now my docotor wants me to get a Prolia injection. I refused, after reading your write up on Prolia. In 1999 I was diagnosed with my L4 vertebra collapsed. I have been active all through the years, Aerobic exercise classes and for the past two years I’ve added Pilates. My doctor also suggested BONE UP.
I would have out of pocket expenses for this bone supplement. He can not write a prescription for it. I take an 81 mg, aspirin daily, but no other
Over the year I have paid for Mega B Vitamin C ,more recently D, and Citrcal. Your exercises I do on my own.
Christine I also had a compression fracture t10-11 from a car wreck, finally went to pt. They gave me an exercise band and had be doing back strengthening exercises by putting the band into a door frame and pulling. there are three positions top,middle, and bottom of door.
This has helped me very much build up my strength and has helped with my posture. Hope this helps you.
Can you give me the names of the best supplements that are proven to help improve bone density in a 60 yr old woman diagnosed with oesteoporis ?
Thanks for the tweaks! I’m older, past 70 (well, 59, ahem), and had lower back pain. I learned re. “muscle imbalance”, got some exercises, and took seriously to “keep moving”. These made a difference. Forward pelvis thing and sway back a biggie. So for the first time in my life I’m working and improving on stopping the hunching in upper back. And of course more engaged in bone health. (The hip pain was related to poor posture and a stuck sacroiliac! Who woulda thunk it?)
That’s why I love the tweaks – esp. the ceiling to top of head string. It works!!
I do wish you would look into the inversion table subject. That was helpful to me for a while, and then (I am small boned) I started having foot numbness, which I thought was from the inversion. I still have this association. I think it started as a side effect from a drug prescribed for rosacea, and what I learned was – read the side effects ahead of using any drug! Learning the hard way is too costly.
Still, inversion is purported to help the spine reverse stress and get new blood flow with new nutrients. Have no idea if true. So when you can, it would help to hear from someone who actually knows anatomy/physiology and can discern the truth of such. And also, is it dangerous for the bone challenged? Or “seniors”?
Thanks for your news updates.
Not content to just settle into “old age”.
Hello All, I’ll keep this short as the story is long and without a printer I cant send a letter to Vivian directly. Grateful I’m not the only one with comprssion fractures. I can relate and not glad you do but appreciate the suffering of others. I had cancer surgery almost 4yrs ago and the med. I was given is destroying my spine. That information was NOT on the paper you get with the med and being one who would trust my doctors I didnt check further, hence, I have 7 compression fractures, L1-L5 and T11 & 12.. I’m in PT at present and hope not to be in a wheelchair. Diet has been changed and exercising like a fiend as much as I can.. Good Luck to all of us and Thanks so much Vivian for the information you provide.. Bless You!!!.
It would be great if you put a picture of the exercise your doing so people can visualize the exercise. It truly helps instead of just talking about it. Thanks..
I have finally managed to get the Densercise exercises printed out and notice that a number of them are done standing without assistance. Since I use a walker I would not try them while alone. Do I just eliminate these or try to do them sitting down?
I got a compression fracture last fail around my bra strap area. It is still causing me pain. I am 62yrs old and not in good shape but working on it.. I have an inversion table, so can ” hang like a bat” …would this hurt my back more,,,Thanks
I have read all the comments above. So what if Vivian has books and articles to sell. Isn’t that what makes the world go round. I read every email she sends us and so appreciate all the tips, knowledge, recipies, exercises, etc. she sends (for free). I had been prescribed one of the BAD meds for bones, but found Vivian’s website and was spared from taking it and ruining my health. The Bone Density book has a world of knowledge in it. It also lets us know how bad an acidic diet is for our bones. It is so hard to eat an alkaline diet so I choose the foods from her book when going to the market. I had surgery on a kidney and I now especially know how important an alkaline diet is. This is an acidic world. I so appreciate all Vivian has done for me.