Who would have thought that the day would come when mainstream science recognizes that bone loss doesn’t just happen and is not inevitable? That lifestyle habits matter, and that what we don’t do can have as big an effect on our bone health as what we do for it.
A study conducted by Italian scientists partnering with the European Space Agency has shown that a lack of resistance, such as gravity, activates osteoclasts – bone-destroying cells.1
Osteoclasts have a very important mission: to make room for new and more resilient bone to be deposed in place of the old bone they destroy. This is the first step of bone remodeling, known as resorption, which is critical to the maintenance of healthy bones.
Bone Cells Have a Unique Sensory System
In a nutshell, the study gets to the crux of why astronauts and those who are immobile for lengthy periods lose bone density at a startling pace. And for the first time ever, researchers have evidence of the osteoclast’s capability of “sensing” mechanical forces and response to reduced load. 1
So what does this all mean to you? It means that if you want strong and healthy bones you need to exercise regularly to build their density.
As Dr. Gerald Weissman of The FASEB Journal explains, “ … bone loss is an example of ‘use it or lose it.’ This study from space has pinpointed cellular culprits that destroy our bones when we don’t use them to support weight.” 2
Indeed, in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I explain that
“Bone growth is stimulated by an applied force, and therefore, increasing muscular stress can increase bone tissue.”
3 Tips to Keep You Moving
1. You can use my workday exercise tricks to ensure you don't sit for extend periods of time.
2. Park your car far away from the store entrance and you'll be forced to walk. I do this myself and while it takes some discipline, eventually it'll become second nature. Hint: make sure to wear comfortable shoes while running errands and ditch the high heels.
3. Forget the elevator. Use the stairs. You'll even feel better once you reach your destination.
And while walking and other weight-bearing activities have known benefits, if you are serious about your bone health…
The Right Exercise Program is Crucial
In light of all this, I’m putting the finishing touches on an exercise program that's designed to increase your bone density fast.
I've been working on the program together with an illustrator for the past three months and will have more updates for you shortly. In the meantime, look out for videos where I'll show you some of these easy and super-effective exercises. I really think this will become the new way to work out for your bones so I'm really excited about it.
Talk to you soon,
1 Tamma R, et al. Microgravity during spaceflight directly affects in vitro osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. The FASEB Journal. vol. 23 no. 8 2549-2554. 2009.
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I am looking forward with great anticipation to the material you are preparing for correct exercises to “save our bones”. Especially during the approaching winter months this program will be very helpful. – Today I had the opportunity to share your book with a friend who just was diagnosed by her doctor with “osteoperosis.” With confidence I could assure her that this will help her bones become strong again.
Dr. Nan Fuchs recommends Strontiam for bone building, do you have an opinion on this?
Hi Gertrude – I don’t recommend supplemental strontium. Read this blog post for the details:
Now, I am trying to do all exercises as you related before. 1-balance, 2-build your bones
while you sit, 3-spine strengthener, 4-jump.
Thank you so much, you always remind us.
I have the same question as the woman who asked about exercises to promote bone growth in the spine. I am 57 and was on Fosamax/Boniva for ten years. I stopped in 6 months ago, but still wonder if I am doing everything I can for healthier bones. My last bone density test revealed that my hip had improved, but my spine was worse with Osteoporosis. I am very active–going to the gym and taking an Osteo class, which includes aerobics, weights and resistance bands and balls etc. I also take Yoga, and asked my instructor what poses would help my spine. She said “Downward Facing Dog”, “Spinal Balance”, “Cat and Dog” and “Superman” poses.
Do any of you have other suggestions for exercises for the spine?
Donna, El Paso, TX
Hi Donna, The yoga poses you were given are all good. 🙂 The best spine exercise I know is my Spine Strengthener; here’s a link to the video that explains and demonstrates it: https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-exercises-spine/
I was watching Dr Oz & he recommended that Calcium be taken about hours after your other vitamins as calcium is a neutralizer. Is this true??
Sorry s/b 2 hours after
Vivian, My guru;
I am always learning off of you…which I am thankful for. Not to mention from all the others out there who post and share their knowledge. Yes, I read them when I’m not time crunching!!
I’m a practical hard working gal.
My backbone is personal faith, common sense, self-determination and self-education!
I’m digesting what you wrote! Here are my thoughts: It makes total sense to me that gravity by it’s very nature would in time be counter productive to the skeletal system. The “Laws of Gravity” to weight and mass. In time, the tensile strength demands of gravity on the body probably takes it’s tow. I’m thankful again, that you have a good science answer to counter balance the realities of this…by simple, practical bone building reality and exercise! Mulling this over…it makes sense!
I don’t know what the research says…out there? For my type of daily workout??? Not only to I care for 2 horses daily, I ride them when I can, pitch horse poop (which I might add there is therapy in the silence of barns pitching shit), lifting a hay bail once a week, walking as much as I can in our trails, (wish our bikes were repaired!), walking at least 3 times a day through our trails with my grand-dog who’s in training, swim in summer months in Ohio when I can, but I need to put on more those ankle weights when working in the house and moving about!!! I also need to be parking further back in parking lots when I’m not time crunching. Another downfall, I wish I could put back into my time management those low impact strength exercises, like I used to consistently do… like resistive exercises, leg lifts, side stretches, set ups blended with some Yoga. This type of exercise was more beneficial to me. I felt more healthy,toned up and weight just seemed to come off. I wonder what the research is with the bone mass on resistance low impact exercises like Yoga?
Thanks Vivian, from Ohio…Kim
Hi Kim – Yoga is great! As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, yoga increases physical strength and flexibility, both of which are helpful to prevent fractures. And stress on bones (which occurs with yoga) will trigger Wolff’s Law of Bone Formation. As discussed in the program, Wolff postulated that bone is created and changed as a reaction to the force of muscular tension and the pressure of gravity imposed on it.
Great reminder, shula
I have been concentrating on diet and walking exercise after my bone scan last year showed osteopenia in hips and lumbar. On my next physical and bone scan in Apr 2011 – my numbers in the hips improved, but my spine went way negative into osteoporosis zone. I will attribute some of it to too much sitting and knitting in the evening after a day of sitting in my office chair in the day. I was impressed by my improved hip numbers, but extremely disappointed in the big loss in the lumbar spine area. I asked my doctor how could I be improving my hips with walking and yet have such poor results with the lumbar? He explained that walking and other stress bearing exercises were good for long bones, and therefore the hip showed good improvement. But he explained that it is very difficult to “target” the spine with exercises. If this is true, I need more information on a set of good exercises that can specifically target the lumbar spine area that is now osteoporosis for me. I am using a trainer who has come up with several exercises, but how can I feel secure that we can target my spine?
Thank you for your help – – – I do not know where else to turn.
Della, please take a look at my Spine Strengthener exercise at https://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-exercises-spine/
It’s a great strengthener for the entire spine.
I am 56 – 5’2″ and walk about 3-5 miles every other day all in the hills where we live. I have hurt my foot and have “plantar fasciitis” and have been swimming for exercise. Does swimming help build bone density at
all?? Any suggestions to heal the “plantar fasciitis”?
I used to have very bad plantar fascitis, got to have cortisone injection. However I got rid of it since I wear my Birkenstock sandals at home. The plantar fascitis is gone.
I got plantar fasciitis following a broken ankle in 2003 (work related- from high energy impact injury, not bone density issue). Exercises where you stand up straight & put affected foot slightly or with practice farther back, put your hands on the knee & lean forward never letting your knee go past your toe actually helps. Heel walking helps (that means walking on your heels rather than your whole foot around the house in socks). Standing on an exercise step facing a counter for support or emergency support with the front part of your foot (toes & pad) on step with the back part (arch & heel) hanging off. Slowly & gently, lower the back part of the foot & the rest of your body, of course) then lift back up & down slowly & repeatedly, as it stretches the tightened muscle. Quit the high heels if you happen to wear them, as it constricts that muscle, making your condition worse. In most drug stores there is an foot apparatus you can buy that you put on & a strap pulls your toes up while you sleep to help stretch it rather cheaply & inexpensively. I had an expensive one that my insurance paid big bucks to rent that was prescribed through my orthopedist that had a boot with springs & dials that allowed you to fine-tune the amount it pulled your toe up to your tolerance. I found foot massages that press & stretch that muscle excruciatingly painful/helpful. I hope all this helps. The nine months that I initially had it constant were pretty bad & occasionally it would reappear after it had cleared up, but I haven’t had a reoccurrence in a couple of years now, thank the Lord. I wouldn’t wish plantar fasciitis on my worst enemy. PAINFUL w/ a capital P.
I have recurring problems with plantar fasciitis. I have learned over the years that stretching the bottom of my feet and back of my legs from time-to-time (as little as once a week works for me) will keep “p.f.” away. If you suffer from it currently, stretch every other day, but it will take two-four weeks to feel relief.
I had plantar Fascitis too and got over it in a about six weeks after I bought some of the newer rounded bottom tennis shoes. They caused my foot to be in different positions as I walked. I continue to wear those shoes about once a week and remember never to wear the same shoes two days in a row. Stay flexible. Judy
I would like to recommend the video put out by the National Osteoporosis Foundation called “Skeletal Fitness” which I have been using for several years. It includes, safe stretches, isometric, weight bearing and resistance exercises. Thanks Vivian for all you do for us.
p.s. for more info:www.movingfree.com.
Indeed active lifestyle and good nutrition is important. Good nutrition is difficult to understand fully, by example whole grain are believed to be healthy, yet they contain anti nutrients that need to be deactivated by long fermentation.
One recipe I use if I wish to eat whole grain pasta or oatmeal(at breakfast) : I grind a tablespoon of organic rye seeds, add it to the water in which the pasta will be cooked or oatmeal prepared. Then leave it for 12 – 15 hours at 35 degrees Celsius or so.
For the pasta, you may throw away the water rinse, add fresh water and bring to a boil. It will be ready and a lot easier to digest, you can taste and feel it. For the oatmeal, just bring it to a boil. You will find it less filling. It is one tablespoon of just milled fresh rye flour per person. You may not grind it in advance because the enzymatic activity will be lost.
Vivian, I am so eager to see your new videos and get your exercise program. I have taken on a vegan lifestyle, but am still “deficient” in the exercise that my bones need. Will welcome all you have to offer!! Thanks!
OK, Annie, what’s MK4? I’m doing my best for bone health, but I am in that category of small, small boned, and thin; also have thyroid issues, and took anti-estrogens for five years (finished with that now) because of breast cancer. Took Actonel for 2+ years more than 10 years ago, and my doc, of course, wants me to go back to the bisphosphonates, which I refuse. I await a new bone density test in September, after having done Ezorb and Vivian’s plan for two years, so we’ll see if I managed to do some good.
Glad to share that after 9 years of osteoporosis, my BDtests show osteopaenia.
However, i still have a spondylolisthesis and some back pain. Your ‘heel, click and jump exercise proved bad for me, jarring my spine.
I now take care of diet, and walk everyday. Starting Pilates.Have gone off Fosa Max (after 9 years!, & feel much better for it!
When I was diagnosed last winter with Osteoporosis, I was stunned. I am a walker for the last many years. I eat fairly healthy. I thought I was doing everything right. WRONG, I was so wrong. simple diet changes have helped me understand Acidic. I am working toward better bones. I read vivian’ s book “SaveOurBones”… When I am in doubt I use her references. I also now include some small amount of exercise in addition to walking everyday. Better bones are what I hope for. I have to believe if I work toward this goal, it will work. But I always have this little dull pain in the tailbone area that gives me doubt that I am going in the right direction. Thanks to vivian I have lots of tools to incorperate into my daily routine. My hopes and dreams are that osteoporosis can be turned around, stopped and even improved on a daily bases. In October 20011 I will make an appointment to have another bone Scan. My hopes are that my bones haven’t further declined. Only time will tell. Here’s to Better Bones! Best Regards, Joyce Hall
You’re on the right track, Joyce! Be sure and share your results with us.
Three weeks ago I started my journey to reverse the news of the bone loss I was diagnosed with.
Mrs. Goldsmith, I am thankful that I found your website after I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. My doctor has given me until Oct 2011 to let him know what medication I will take. The list is Fosmax, Actonel, Boniva. After reading your story, I embraced your program. I believe in giving myself a chance to heal naturaly before taking medicine. I checked out your website site thoroughly for 2 weeks, and it just made sense. I had never heard of the Alkaline Acid theory about food. So I brought the book and have been three weeks in my lifestyle change in how I eat. My life and mind have forever changed when I decide what foods to eat. I love the details about the value of fruits and vegetables have on the body. It’s been 3 weeks that I have changed me diet, exercise program and increased my calcium intake. Also brought the distilled water and back it with lemon. I have had positive changes in the pain level in my body. Thanks so much for sharing your story and the receipes. Looking forward to your exercise video. PEACE
Carol, I’m so happy to hear that you’re already experiencing positive changes (and that you found Save Our Bones before agreeing to take any of the medications). Keep up the good work – it can only get better! 🙂
Thank You VERY MUCH For Sharing This Article With Us! And For Showing Some Of The Exercises We Can Do To Save Our Bones.
LOVE, MS. L.
It is true people with Osteoporosis should be doing resistant exercise, and should be walking etc.
But there are Many People that have Osteoporosis that have exercised for years, have been active, have ate healthy, and still get Osteoporosis.Also do not have a thyroid problem either.
We are now finding allot of calcium pills are not going to our bones, but to our Arteries.
We need MK4, and other vitamins that we cannot eat enough to get it.
I believe more women then men get osteo. It could be because we are small boned, and thin,which has nothing to do with not exercising.
There are many factors that contribute to Osteo besides lack of exercises.
We also need to eat a more Alkaline diet, and not so much of a Acid diet.
80% alkaline, 20% Acid..
Check out on google what those foods are..
It’s important to eat Organic. You can get far more vitamins from Organic foods.
You’re right, Annie — exercise is one part of a multi-pronged approach to bone health. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program address diet, supplementation, lifestyle, and exercise.
i went to the doctors i could not lift my arms
he put me on sterolds
it worked ,Buti can lift my arms ,but i now hurt and get very tired
ive been on there tablets 10 months i have a blood test every month
got back ache legs ache
the hospital and doctors in my sergy blood test are not the same
i get very hot from my face
am taking these tablets to long
iam on blood preasure tablets atenolol
can all these medician ageee with each other
can prednisolone make you so tired, i take 5 mg a day , he put it up to 2 can these affect your eyes , now back to 5 mg.
take water tablet bendrolflumthiazide
also omerprazole i take before the the prednisolone
and adcal-d3 chewable tablets for my bones thank you june boorman