Jennifer Firestone, MSN, CRNP, FLS
(January 2020) A New Year likely finds you getting kiddos back in the school swing, planning spring sports and more. Where is your own health on that 2020 to-do list? Parents – especially Moms – often bump themselves down the priority chart.
As part of our Bone Health Clinic team, I work with patients every day suffering fractures, fragility and the other challenges of osteoporosis. And it might surprise you to know the exercise habits of your late 20’s -40’s determine whether you’ll be a patient of ours years later. Bone health begins to diminish in our 30’s, if we’re not taking healthy steps to prevent it.
Weight bearing exercises build bone strength, and should be part of an overall routine that’s fun and not too tiring. Burnout and boredom can be the first culprits to a fresh fitness plan. So mix it up with indoor and outdoor options, set a goal like finishing a 5K run and stick with it!
Once you find an accountability buddy and get ready to roll, consider a few tips for a safe and healthy routine. Don’t buy into the “no pain no gain” notion that exercise should be difficult to be beneficial. Normal muscle soreness fades in 24-48 hours. If you’re experiencing real pain, it should be checked out.
Tips for A New Exercise Routine
- Ensure Proper Equipment. New running shoes? Make sure they’re comfortable, supportive and won’t cause calluses or blisters. Test new exercise gear in the store.
- Choose a Balanced Exercise Regimen. The best routine includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for maximum heart health.
- Always Warm Up. Warming up increases your heart rate and blood flow, which loosens up muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Be Sure and Stretch. Stretching – at the end of your workout – helps our range of motion, how well we move, and limits muscle soreness as well as risk of injury.
- Take Your Time. Strength training is good for muscles and bones – move slowly through the entire range of motion.
- Stay Hydrated. Water is key! Drink 16 ounces of water 15 minutes before and just after your workout during cooldown.
- Cool Down. Take twice as long cooling down as you did warming up – gradually lessening intensity for the final ten minutes of your workout.
Hit those new fitness goals gradually – and keep going. The benefits of exercise begin to diminish in two weeks and completely disappear in 6-8 weeks. Track your progress, prevent injuries, and pat yourself on the back. Healthy bones depend on overall fitness. Wishing you a well and wonderful New Year!
Jennifer Firestone received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Jacksonville State University followed by her MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With a specialty in aging, Jennifer is part of Bayside Orthopaedic’s Bone Health Clinic team – creating personalized treatment plans to reduce the overall fracture risk, accelerate healing, prevent subsequent fractures and break the fragility cycle.