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December 29, 1995 - Image 85

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-

We Pay for Moving Expenses • Call For Details

At 18, Jeanne Schaller left home to spread her wings.
At 81, she's doing it again.

After evaluating 15 post-
menopausal women for a year, re-
searchers at the University of
Missouri concluded that 20 min-
utes of low-impact exercise three
days a week for a year can main-
tain bone density.
The researchers evaluated 15
postmenopausal women for a
year, focusing on preventing the
bone deterioration that leads to an
osteoporotic fracture in more than
one in three women over age 50.
Some of the women subjects
performed such high-impact ac-
tivities as running in place and
jumping jacks. The rest did slow
walking and dancing. At the end
of the year-long trial, there was no
significant difference in bone mass
density between the two groups.
In another study, at Washing-
ton University School of Medicine
in St. Louis, postmenopausal
women who performed gentle low-
impact exercises increased their
bone mass by 5.2 percent over
time. A test group of post-
menopausal women who didn't ex-
ercise continued to lose their bone
mass — a natural. but preventable
condition of aging.
Studies have shown that an av-
erage woman can expect to lose 35
percent of her cortical bone (sur-
rounding the cortex) and 50 per-
cent of her trabecular bone
(spongy bone found in the spine)
over a lifetime.
The best bone-building exer-
cises are those in which your skele-
ton supports the weight of your
body (walking or jogging, for ex-
ample) and those that are impact-
loading. That is, exercises in which
impact, or force, passes through
your bones as you exercise.
In walking, for example, you
strike your heel against the
ground with a force equivalent to
1.3 times your body weight. That's
low impact.
Running, on the other hand, in-
volves a force equivalent to at least
3 times body weight. That's high
impact.
Bone mass is closely related to
bone strength; the greater the
bone mass, the stronger the bones
and the less likely they are to frac-
ture.
While weight-bearing exercise
and a diet rich in calcium are the
recommended preventive mea-
sures for osteoporosis, more effec-
tive drugs are emerging.
The latest: Fosamax, a drug
chemically known as alendronate
sodium, that recently was ap-
proved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration.
The most commonly reported
side effects: abdominal and mus-
culoskeletal pain. But such effects
generally were mild and tolerable,
researchers reported. ❑

.

/ -

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m CF

• Eat foods high in fiber
and low in fat

• Include fresh fruits,
vegetables and whole
grain cereals in your diet

• If you drink alcoholic
beverages, do so only in
moderation

• Don't smoke or use
tobacco in any form

• Avoid unnecessary X-rays

• Avoid too much sunlight;
use sunscreens

• Take estrogens only as
long as necessary

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Call toll-free
1-800-4-CA NCER

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