Healthy Living: Preparing Your Mind, Body and Bones for the 3-Day

Thanks to the support of Amgen and working in partnership with American Bone Health, we are excited to provide you with a special series of emails, blogs and additional resources that will help prepare you for this life-changing event, as well as year-round health. To catch up on all of the blogs and emails about Healthy Living, click here.

Why You Should Add Load To Your Workout

Special Guest Contributor: Wendy Kohrt, PhD

We often hear that weight-bearing activity is critical for bone health, but many people don’t know what that means or how to achieve it. If you watch children play, they’ve got it right! Running, jumping and cartwheeling are the kinds of activities that help them build their bones.

Weight-bearing, or weight-loading, activities stimulate bone building by triggering the cells to take in more calcium and other minerals and, ultimately, to increase bone mineral density. In contrast, “unloading” the bones — prolonged bed rest, for example — result in loss of bone mineral density. While normal daily activities are sufficient in preventing the harmful effects of unloading, significant “loading” is still needed to increase bone density.

Researchers measure load in multiples of body weight. For example, when we stand, the gravitational load on our bones equals our body weight. Walking generates loading forces that are 1- to 2- times body weight. Running or jogging adds even more load — say 3 times body weight. To improve bone mineral density, you need to consider higher impact activities that add 4+ times body weight, like jumping or strength training.

Always start with loading activities that are right for you. As you train to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, work to increase your walking stride. If you are running, consider adding higher-impact activities. Weight or resistance training is beneficial to muscles and with enough load, it can stimulate bone building as well. Avoid excessive loading to prevent injury.

If you have low bone density or osteoporosis, talk with a professional who has been trained to work with individuals at risk for fractures on any activity that will add load to your bones. Use proper form and body mechanics to protect your spine.

The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. For bone health, the guidelines advise strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Doing many repetitions with light weights is not the way to go. To add enough load on the bones, the muscle you are working should fatigue within eight to ten repetitions or fewer.

Be safe and smart with your training and remember, loading up your workouts will keep your bones going strong for the 3-Day and beyond!

Dr. Wendy Kohrt received her Ph.D. in Exercise Science from Arizona State University and established the research group Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender, and Exercise at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. She is a national leader in aging research focused on the prevention of disease and the maintenance of functional independence.

 

How to Make the Most of a Long Weekend

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Who doesn’t love a long weekend? It gives you a whole extra day to get things done, plus you get a break from work. Memorial Day is first and foremost a holiday to honor the fallen servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Make sure to take time on Monday to honor them and all that they have done.

We encourage you to really make the most of this long weekend and spend some time on all of the things you need to do to get ready for the 3-Day. Turn this three-day weekend into a “3-Day Weekend!” Tackle your tasks one by one for your most productive weekend yet this year!

Friday: Educate

There is so much to learn about the 3-Day, the difference Susan G. Komen is making in the fight against breast cancer, and how you can prepare your mind and body for your 60-mile journey! After a long week, take some time to relax and read up on Friday night. Then you’ll be able to approach the rest of the weekend with a well-rested body and a mind full of all kinds of new information.

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Saturday: Train and Teambuild

Saturday means it’s time to get busy! Schedule a training walk or other work out with your friends and teammates first thing in the morning. That will get you moving and grooving through your long weekend right off the bat! Then, use the afternoon to work on fundraising and teambuilding. We have some fun ideas for ways to take both your fundraising and teambuilding outside to really make the most of the weekend weather (hopefully filled with sunshine!).

Sunday: Get to Know Your Coaches

We love our coaches! From the amazing women who have been with us for years, to our new coaches in Seattle, Philadelphia and New England, they are here to be your biggest help on your 3-Day journey. If you haven’t already connected with them on social media, Sunday is the perfect day to do so!

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Did you know they all have their own Facebook pages? You can check them out here:

These pages are a super easy way to contact your coaches, find out about local training walks and events and learn more about registration discounts and rewards. Plus, it will show them some love to have you follow them as part of the 3-Day family.

Monday: Relax and Reward

You made it to Monday, and you don’t even have to work! Congrats! That means it’s time to kick those 60-mile feet back and give yourself a rest. Prepare for the week ahead, acknowledge all that you have done over the weekend, and don’t forget to honor any servicemen and women in your life. Tuesday will be a new day, and you’re going to be prepared to take it by storm!

What are your plans for the long weekend? Tell us in the comments!

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For tips about healthy living, click here for advice and support to keep you on track for the 3-Day and beyond. Thanks to the support of Amgen and in partnership with American Bone Health, the Healthy Living series was designed to prepare your mind, body and bones for the 3-Day.

Healthy Living: Preparing Your Mind, Body and Bones for the 3-Day

Thanks to the support of Amgen and working in partnership with American Bone Health we are excited to provide you with a special series of emails, blogs and additional resources that will help prepare you for this life-changing event, as well as year-round health.

Why calcium is important and how you can incorporate it into your diet

Special Guest Contributor: Shirin Hooshmand PhD, RD

Whenever I speak with people about bone health, they always have the most questions about calcium.

Calcium is one of the most important and plentiful minerals in the body. When calcium combines with phosphate, it becomes the material that makes the bones and teeth strong. We also need calcium for transmitting nerve impulses, contracting muscles and clotting blood.

The body regulates the calcium that is circulating in the blood and tissues. Calcium is absorbed in the intestines and either reclaimed or excreted by the kidneys. If the blood level of calcium falls, glands in the body signal the bones to release calcium into the blood. Over time, if that calcium isn’t replenished, bone loss could occur. That is why it is important to get enough calcium, preferably through food.

Vitamin D and calcium work together. When calcium works its way through the stomach and into the intestines, vitamin D helps with absorption of calcium into the blood stream. Without sufficient vitamin D, you will absorb less calcium from your diet.

Children need the most calcium while their bones are growing. For women, after peak bone mass is obtained, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium goes down and then goes up again around the age of menopause, when women start to lose bone mass because of declines in estrogen levels. As we age, calcium metabolism is harder to maintain and the RDA stays the same.

Life stage group Calcium
RDA
Calcium rich servings Vitamin D RDA
9–18 years old 1,300 4 600
19–50 years old 1,000 3 600
MEN: 51–70 years old 1,000 3 600
WOMEN: 51–70 years old 1,200 4 600
71+ years old 1,200 4 800

Sometimes it’s easier to think about calcium in terms of servings of food. Getting calcium from food is the best option since your body is better able to put it to use. The best sources of dietary calcium are foods that have 200 or more milligrams per serving. This includes dairy or calcium-fortified foods such as milk, cheese, fortified juices and cereals, and you will see on the labels that they contain anywhere from 200 to 400 milligrams per serving. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds have smaller amounts of calcium, and the calcium in fruits and vegetables attaches to fiber and passes through the body.

Try to find three or four sources of high amounts of calcium that work for you each day. You can also think about how to have one source of a high amount of calcium at every meal.

HIGH CALCIUM FOODS (contain 200+ mg) MODERATE CALCIUM FOODS (contain 50-200 mg) LOW CALCIUM FOODS (contain <50 mg)
Dairy Foods Almonds Nuts and seeds
Sardines Beans Broccoli
Fortified cereals Canned salmon Cabbage
Fortified soy milk Green vegetables Fruits
Fortified tofu Breads

What if I’m lactose intolerant?

People who are lactose intolerant are at risk of not getting enough calcium. There is no cure for lactose intolerance, but here are some things you can do to reduce symptoms.

Try to reduce the amount of lactose per serving rather than avoiding it. Some studies show people with lactose intolerance can eat at least 12 grams of lactose (equivalent to 1 cup of milk) with minor or no symptoms. When lactose is taken with other foods, some people can tolerate up to 18 grams.

Shop for lactose-free milk. Milk that has been treated with lactase is widely available and often well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance.

Think about hard cheeses. Hard cheeses, such as most cheddars, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Romano, do not have lactose since their lactose is changed into lactic acid as the cheese ages.

Try soy-based beverages that are fortified with calcium. Soy-based beverages are the only plant-based option listed on MyPlate. Other plant- and nut-based beverages, such as rice and almond beverages, may not have the same nutritional value as soy. It’s important to read food labels carefully.

Most importantly, try to get a balanced diet with 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. With a balanced diet, you are sure to get all of the additional vitamins and minerals you need for strong bones.

About Dr. Hooshmand

Shirin Hooshmand, PhD, RD, is a member of the American Bone Health Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Hooshmand is Associate Professor of Nutrition at the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University. She received her PhD at Florida State University working in the area of nutrition, bone, and cartilage. Her current research interests include bone and calcium metabolism, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and functional foods. She has published 45 original articles in peer reviewed journals and presented more than 90 abstracts in national and international symposiums.