My local newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel, recently started a page 2 column called Health Key Daily (HK). It’s probably no surprise that this is the first page I go to when I read my morning paper. This morning there is a small article titled Calcium supplements could raise the risk of heart attacks. It caught my eye because I have never been a big buy-in to any supplementation, but have consistently been encouraged to at least take a calcium supplementation. Over the past 10 years or so, I occasionally purchase a bottle, take them for a few days, then every few days, then once in a while when I feel like its been forever since I took any. At a certain point, the remainder of the bottle gets discarded and I start over again. Never do I feel conviction about taking them.
The article states that studies done in 2006 and 2008, involving over 12,000 patients, found a 31% increased risk for heart attacks in those that took the calcium supplements. Couple this with the more recent studies that show that although the pills may halt the loss of bone density (or even reverse it) they don’t reduce the risk of fractures or death. It just might be time to rethink supplementation and get the all important calcium from foods like:
Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
(While you may choose low-fat dairy products like yogurt, skimmed milk and cottage cheese, be advised that these products may leak more calcium out of your bones, than they actually provide, while leafy greens do not cause the same leakage)
Additionally, make sure to get in your daily weight-bearing exercise! Here’s a definition of WEIGHT-BEARING EXERCISE:
Weight-bearing exercise is any activity that is performed in a standing position. This body plane forces a participant to control one’s own body mass against gravity. As a result, weight-bearing movements burn more calories than their non-weight-bearing (seated) counterparts. There are weight-assisted movements for cardio, resistance and balance. This position results in many internal and external health benefits.
I honestly can’t think of too many safe, effective, weight-bearing exercises that are better for us than walking. Blaze and I are on it. We are out to build our bone density up, improve our circulation, burn some calories and probably even find some time to stop and smell the roses. Then its 20 laps in the pool before I begin preparing some vegan goodies for Derek to bring to his potluck luncheon at work tomorrow. Tonight it’s Tamarac Fitness for the high intensity cardio-sculpt followed by some yoga and Pilates.
Keeping good thoughts for those of you that are going through some physically (and emotionally) challenging times right now. More than ever, it is paramount to remember that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Though we don’t always know the reason, I hold fast to this belief. I hope that you can, too.