One of my priorities is to bring you exercises that target areas of the skeleton most prone to thinning, such as the hips and the femur. This weekend’s challenge focuses primarily on the femur, as well as on all of the muscles and bones in the legs.
Chances are your doctor never mentioned the increased likelihood of atypical femoral fractures if he or she prescribed osteoporosis drugs, such as bisphosphonates (Fosamax or alendronate, Boniva or residronate – to name a few). But the ugly truth is that these drugs, touted as bone builders and strengtheners, actually make your bones – including in the hip and thigh – brittle and more prone to fracture.
So if you’ve taken osteoporosis drugs, the Stabilizing Femur Builder is a great first step toward overcoming their bone-weakening effects. If you haven’t taken them, you can add this challenge to your repertoire of bone-building, brain-building moves.
That’s right – brain-building! Scientists have broken new ground in the area of the neurological effect of exercise, as evidenced in a breakthrough study I’m thrilled to share with you this weekend.
So let’s get started!
There is only one bone between the knee and the hip: the femur. That’s a relatively long distance for only one bone to cover, so the femur is exceptionally strong. It is, in fact, the longest, heaviest, and strongest bone in the human body.
During activities such as running, walking, and even standing, your femur supports all of your body’s weight. It is designed to take a tremendous amount of stress from the strong muscles of the hip and thigh.
The femur’s vulnerable point is the femoral neck, where the bone narrows significantly to connect the top of the femur to the hip. The neck extends to form the smooth, spherical head that fits into the cup-shaped socket on the pelvis. This arrangement allows for a wide range of motion, but it does leave the femoral neck somewhat vulnerable to fracture, especially if it has been artificially weakened by osteoporosis drugs.
Today’s exercise engages the powerful muscles in the hips and thighs, stimulating the bone cells in your femur to multiply and strengthen as per Wolff’s Law. Let’s take a look at how to do it.
This is a fairly challenging move, so you might want to do this next to a bed, couch, or something else to hold onto if needed.
- Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees and go down into a low squat, clasping your hands up in front of your chest.
- Staying down in the squat and not rising up, step out to one side and bring your feet back together again. If you’re stepping out with your right foot, then bring your left foot over beside your right.
- Now step out to the side with the opposite leg and bring your feet back together again.
- Repeat this side-stepping motion, alternating legs, for 20 seconds or as long as you can.
After you’ve rested for a minute or two, try these two other Weekend Challenges to round out your leg- and thigh-strengthening routine:
As I mentioned earlier, having new exercises to add to your routine really helps you stay motivated and interested. And according to a new study, keeping up that exercise regimen is vital not only for your bones, but also for your brain.
Exercise Cessation Decreases Blood Flow To The Brain
It’s well known that exercise enhances cognition. But scientists wished to explore how the brain responds when exercise is ceased, so they recruited 12 athletes between the ages of 50 and 80 and asked them to stop their rigorous exercise routines for 10 days.
Before the athletes stopped exercising, their resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured; it was measured again after 10 days of no exercise. Remarkably, in all participants, blood flow to eight areas of the brain was significantly lower than the baseline rCBF.1
Notably, the eight brain regions affected by the 10 days of sedentary living included the left and right hippocampus, as well as a very intriguing neural network that deteriorates in those with Alzheimer’s disease. This has important implications for the role of exercise in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
While you needn’t feel guilty if you drop your exercise routine now and then, it’s good to be aware that stopping exercise for prolonged periods and not taking it up again can have serious consequences to your bones and brain, affecting your mobility and cognition.
Thankfully, The Weekend Challenges And Densercise™ Will Keep You On Track
Stimulating bone through targeted exercise is indispensable to a natural bone-building protocol like the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. With the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you’ll have all the tools you need to increase bone strength and renew your skeletal integrity without the dangerous, bone-damaging drugs.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
Feel free to mix in the Weekend Challenges with your Densercise™ routine to add variety and interest. And please leave a comment below to engage with the community about your exercise experiences!
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Alfini, Alfonso J., et al. “Hippocampal and Cerebral Blood Flow after Exercise Cessation in Master Athletes.” Aging Neuroscience. (2016). Web. January 26, 2017. https://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00184/full