Correct Breathing During Exercise

Breathing correctly during exercise will ensure that oxygen is properly transported (torn your kings to your muscles The way you breathe during exercise involves much more than inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Proper technique maximizes the benefits of every exercise

Oxygen by itself does not contain usable energy, however, it {days a major role in releasing the energy stored in previously ingested food. The energy demands of your contracting muscles increase during exercise, as does their need for oxygen Because the air you breathe consists of only 21 percent oxygen, you need to inhale an increased volume of air and oxygen to meet your body's needs. You will know if you are nor breathing correctly through each repetition because you will be out of breath by the end of the exercise.

To breathe correctly during exercise, do the following:
Exhale through your mouth in a controlled manner during the most strenuous part of the movement For example, when you are performing the biceps curt, exhale as you lift your arms to contract your muscles I * Inhale through your nose during the easier part of the exercise When working your biceps, inhale as you lengthen your muscles to return to the starting position. Be sure there is adequate ventilation during your workout Excessive yawning can result from the fresh air.

Your abdominal muscles are actually a group of six muscles that originate on the sternum and ribs and extend to areas of your pel­vis. They assist with your movement, breathing process, and posture. Your abdominal muscles shorten and your back muscles lengthen to move your shoulders forward toward your hips. The reverse action creates backward flexion. The muscles that are deeper and closer to your spine contribute the most structural

While your abdominal muscles can't be separated (they all work together in each exercise), there are exercises that favor certain portions of the abs. It's helpful to be familiar with your core abdominal muscles so you can target them by picturing them in your mind's eye as you exercise.

How to Train your Pectoral Muscles and Deltoid Muscles

Men display their muscled chests as a sign of strength and vital­ity. Strong chest muscles are primarily associated with hard work—sometimes at the gym. For women, toned chest muscles add contour to the chest, as well as underlying support for the breasts. However, the most compelling reason to develop your pecs is to have increased upper-body strength to live your life with independence and youthful energy.

Your chest muscles, located between your breasts and ribs, connect your chest to your arms. There is no actual muscle in breast tissue, but your underlying pectoral muscles will put up a good front. Corny comments aside, the reality is that after about age forty, your skin becomes more lax (particularly with sun damage), your milk ducts shrink, and your body fat increases. Building up your pectoral muscles will add support but won't restore your breasts to their formerly firm, round contours. For that, you need a well-fitting bra or a certified plastic surgeon.
Strong pectoral muscles arc desirable—tight ones that pull the shoulder blades, collarbones, and arms forward obviously arc not. Most of us engage in activities (such as working at the computer or even cooking) that cause us to hunch forward. Poor posture is also to blame. Continuously being in this posi­tion without stretching to open your chest muscles eventually results in consequences such as limited arm movement. Here is an effective stretch you can perform anytime to lengthen your chest muscles. All you need is a doorway.
Stand in the middle of an open doorway, placing one foot in front of the other. Bend your elbows at right angles and position your forearms on each side of the doorway. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles. Hold for about fifteen seconds while you breathe normally. Relax and repeat several limes.
Broad shoulders have always been a metaphor for physical and emotional strength. Like Atlas, you may have carried the weight of the world on yours. The irony is that the ball-and-socket joints that form your shoulders are also the most unstable and prone to injury. One of the best ways to protect and support your shoulder joints is by strengthening the surrounding mus­cles—the deltoids and the rotator cuffs.
Your shoulder muscles, or deltoids, form a triangle of three "heads" (front, middle, and rear), which are the most movable joints in your body. They can be used together or separately to move your arms. Your rotator cuffs, which arc made up of four muscles and their tendons, stabilize your shoulders and assist in rotation and overhead movements. Athletes who play sports that use overhead motions (such as baseball, softball, swimming and tennis) benefit from their shoulders' wide range of motion but are plagued by overuse injuries that damage and inflame the muscles and tendons. And you don't have to be an athlete to be vulnerable. Any repetitive movement, such as house painting or window cleaning, can cause rotator cuff fatigue—the best excuse yet for not doing windows.
Toned, nicely rounded shoulders enhance your body's sym­metry by being in better balance with your hips. However, the most important reason to develop your deltoid muscles is for the added strength needed to perform everyday tasks, such as car­rying a tray if you're a waiter or stowing your carry-on luggage in the plane's overhead compartment when you travel.
It is very important that you maintain all the parts of your shoulders in good working order. Exercising with weights keeps your shoulders strong, and stretching aids in flexibility. A youthful body exudes fluid, flexible movements and toned muscles. Does age rob you of strength and grace? The answer is a resounding no! Your participation in the Body Electric weight- resistance exercises that follow will make all the difference.
Well-conditioned back muscles and ligaments provide sup­port for your spine. Your ligaments hold your bones together, allowing you to perform movements such as bending and twist­ing within a safe range of motion. Your muscles, like your liga­ments, can stretch, plus they have the added ability to contract to coordinate the movement of your bones. And if you need yet another reason to exercise your back muscles, the experts’ study confirms that stronger back muscles reduce spinal frac­tures in postmenopausal women.

The Skills for Warm up Exercises

Don't expect your body to go from zero to sixty when you work out. Even elite athletes have to do a thorough warm-up for optimal performance and injury preven­tion. Warming up prior to exorcise provides you with that much- needed transition from sedentary to active. It prepares your body and mind for the more strenuous activity to follow, and it minimizes the likelihood of injurya most important twofer. The warm-up is so named because the movements slowly increase your body's core and muscle temperature, which effec­tively increases the elasticity of your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Your built-in temperature regulator, perspiration, helps to prevent your body from overheating.

A warmed muscle both contracts more intensely and relaxes more easily. Your muscles contract and relax as you continue to work them through their full range of motion. As your muscles warm up, you continue to increase the number of muscle fibers that can contract together, which places less stress on the individual fibers. A stronger and healthier muscle is less vulnerable to injury.
The warm-up exercises also allow time for your heart to adjust to the increased workload. Your blood vessels dilate to assist addi­tional blood flow to the muscles, carrying increased oxygen and nutrients, such as blood sugar and adrenaline. The endurance and performance of your muscles is further fueled by increases in your blood temperature. The warm-up exercises improve per­formance, but, more important, they help to prevent or reduce muscle soreness and the chance of injury.
Warming up becomes even more of a necessity because your tissues become less supple and your joints retain less fluid. By activating the fluids in your joints, you reduce wear and (ear caused by friction and increase your range of motion. It takes about four to five minutes to warm up your body, depending on how tight your muscles and joints feel on a par­ticular day. It also may take longer to loosen up on cooler days. Bear in mind that experimentation and experience with the workout will result in increased body awareness. Vary the warm-up from time to lime to find what works best for you. For instance, background music may be energizing on some days, while on others, Zen-like silence may be more conducive to increased concentration and body awareness.
Always begin your warm-up gradually and be aware that your cold muscles arc less elastic. More focused stretching is best done after your exercise session, when your muscles are warm and pliable with the increased blood flow. In the warm- up that follows, you will begin with gentle stretching of your head and neck and progress down your body, energizing each major muscle group. Then, with your chassis purring, you'll be revved up and ready to roll—so to speak.

The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep When You're Not Exercising

For most people, eight hours of rest provides the optimal energy needed to charge their memory. Menopausal symptoms such as night sweats may interfere with your ability to get a good night's sleep, but try to get as close as you can to eight hours a night A good night's sleep is both heal­ing and restorative Here's how to get yours
Establish a natural rhythm by going to sleep each night and waking up each day at about the same time. Avoid activities that are stimulating or upsetting right before bed. Watch or read the news earlier in the evening. Limit alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco for several hours before bedtime.

Use your bedroom only for sleeping and excrete a soothing environment with pleasant colors, a comfortable mattress, and smooth sheets. And if you can't sleep, get out of bed to do something relaxing in another room. Drink warm milk or eat a slice of toast with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal.

Protect Your Skin When You are outside

People are all affected by the aging process in varying degrees. The loss of skin tone as we age is influenced by genetics, diet, and the management of environmental factors such as exposure to the sun and smoking. It is up to you to decide how much of your personal resources of time, effort, money, and relaxation.

You can certainly tail the difference between skin that has been exposed to a lifetime of sun and skin that has been protected from the elements, such as the skin on the breasts and buttocks. Some tourists would appear each winter eager to work on their tan. Returning home with a dark glow spoke volumes about luxury and leisure. Unfortunately, many visitors also suffered burned and peeling skin m the process. To respect the sun's dam aging rays predictably, the smooth, tanned skin of a twenty-year-old will prematurely sag.
Although many young women choose to ignore the warnings—when we boomers were young, most of us didn't know that the glow of a deep tan wasn't healthy.

Physicians tell us that there is no safe tan; any tan means your skin has darkened due to the damaging, excessive ultraviolet rays. Caucasian people are about twenty times more likely to get skin cancer than African-American people, but no one is immune. Sunscreen helps but is not foolproof. In addition, the increasing depletion of ozone m the atmosphere is allowing in more UV rays. And the truth is that tanning booths can be more damaging to the skin than the sun because they use pure ultraviolet light. It is worth repeating that sun damage is one of the leading causes of prematurely saggy skin and facial wrinkles. A regular program of exercise and stretching is definitely beneficial for maintaining vibrant health and a youthful appear­ance—except in regard to the appearance of your face

Protect your skin from unnecessary trauma, wearing long-sleeved, sun protective clothing during outdoor activities (such as gardening) protects against sunburn as well as unsightly cuts and bruises. (Sun Precautions' clothing offers a 30* SPF that blocks 97 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

The epidermis (the out­ermost layer of skin) creates new cells more slowly, and damage to the skin by the sun thins the skin Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), found In many over-the- counter skin creams, work by Increasing the turnover of skin cells. Use creams with AHAs on the entire body for skin that has an all-over healthy glow.

Drink at least eight full glasses of water a day to flush away toxins and to keep your skin soft and healthy, and don't smoke. Avoid smoking at all costs. If you are currently a smoker, do whatever you can to quit smoking actively increases the signs of aging and is counterproductive to all healthy pursuits.

How Far, Fast, and Frequently You Walk

To be effective, fitness walking has to be deliberate with regard to how far, fast, and frequently you walk. To continue to achieve ben­efits, you have to plan for a progressive overload. In other words, don't allow yourself to plateau at a comfortable level. Your goal is to continue to increase your pace, over time, and to improve your circulation by making your heart pump blood more effi­ciently throughout your body. Consistency is crucial so that your progress doesn't yo-yo. Your body will become conditioned to increased intensity over time but only through repeated efforts.

Walking farther, faster, or more frequently are variables; add­ing a hill or interspersing your normal pace with faster sprints can also up the challenge. But don't try to increase everything simultaneously—work on increasing haw far you walk in some sessions and how last you walk in others. While you arc build­ing speed, I suggest that you gauge your walks according to time rather than distance. If possible, begin with thirty-minute walks (fifteen minutes in each direction), the minimum goal for increasing cardiovascular health. As you become more conditioned, increase your pace to cover more distance in the allotted time.

A reasonable goal is to walk three miles in forty-five minutes, sometimes less and sometimes more. Adding a sixty-minute walk once or twice each week will definitely boost your body's fat-burning capability. Increasing your walking pace from three to four miles per hour can double the benefits. The surgeon gen­eral recommends that your thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can be accumulated, meaning you can do it in shorter bouts of ten or fifteen minutes throughout the day. And there is no law that says you have to begin each walk from your home or workplace. A brief car or bicycle ride can transport you to a variety of scenarios. One day you may enjoy a rural country setting, while another day you may prefer a walk around your neighborhood. I encourage you to get in your car and map out several three-mile routes, a mile and a half there and back.

Increased oxygen during aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. Aerobic literally means "in the presence of, or with, oxygen." Your body initially fuels the increased effort by burning excess carbohydrates. When your store of carbohy­drates has been depleted, after about twenty minutes, your body will begin to use fat for fuel—going first to the regular reserves and then the harder-to-reach places. Therefore, a longer walk will definitely burn fatter and continue to do for several hours post exercise! Carbohydrates, including sugar, that are not immediately used by your body for fuel arc converted to fat deposits for long-term storage. Excess fat is stored in areas where fat deposits are already located, such as your abdomen, hips, and thighs. Your body depends on its fat stores to keep you alive when food is scarce.
Begin and end your walk with five minutes of more casual stroll­ing, gradually increasing the intensity of your movements at the beginning and decreasing them at the end. If you choose, you can perform some gentle stretching at about five minutes into your walk. Save the more vigorous, range-of-motion stretching until your walk is completed. You may experience muscular aches and pains, particularly when you increase your goals. If you have discomfort, such as painful shin splints while walking, it is important to rest until the injury has healed. Continuing to exercise with an injury will just prolong the pain. Always respect an injury. Be sure to schedule one day of rest each week to prevent physical and psy­chological burnout. You will return to your walks with renewed vigor and conviction.
Proper Shoes for Walking
Wear appropriate, well-fitting walking shoes as this will encour­age vibrant walking and limit fatigue. Shop for shoes late in the day. When your feet are their maximum size, and try on sev­eral pairs before making your decision. Your shoes should be replaced about every 500 miles. If you walk six days per week at 3 miles per day, you will walk 18 miles per week, or 936 miles in a year. On that schedule, you will need to replace your walking shoes twice per year. I suggest, instead, that you purchase both pairs of shoes at the same time so you can alternate them to prevent potential foot irritation.

Choose shoes that provide an ade­quately roomy toe box for your toes to widen as you push off. There is nothing more annoying than sore toes caused by too short or too narrow shoes. Put your hand inside the shoe to check for protruding or rough inseams that may rub. I remem­ber when I first snow-skied with rental boots. If they didn't fit perfectly, they created hot spots on the first day that were both­ersome for the entire trip. I quickly learned that it made all the difference to own custom-fitted boots.

Choose breathable microfiber athletic socks that wick the moisture away to help your feet stay dry and blister-free. You can also use powder or petroleum jelly on your feel to mini­mize friction. In cold weather, add extra protection for your extremities.

When you're doing walking and other aerobic exercise, it's important, for maximum benefit, to keep your heart rate within a specified range. Your target heart rate zone is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying by 50 to 80 percent. So, for example, if you're fifty years old, your target heart rate would be 102 to 136 beats per minute. A heart rate monitor allows you to measure your heart rate in real time. The monitor usually includes a chest strap transmitter and a wrist receiver that resembles a wrist watch. Some aerobic machines, such as treadmills, feature a built-in monitor that measures your heart's BPM (beats per minute) with a device that you squeeze manually. The heart rate monitor keeps you in touch with your target heart rate zone during aerobic activity and is a practical alternative to taking your pulse.

Poor Posture Can Be a Pain in the Neck and the checklist for improve posture

Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on support­ing muscles and ligaments during the normal course of move­ment. This is a simple but very important way to keep the many- crucial structures in your back and spine healthy.

Your backbone, or spine, runs from the base of your skull to your tailbone and is composed of thirty-three vertically stacked bones (vertebrae) that are cushioned by disks. Add spinal fluid, and you would think you have ample protection for your spinal cord and nerves. However, it is the way you carry yourself—your posture—that most significantly protects your spine from injury.

Your spinal column is designed to curve naturally, both forward and backward. Your spine has two natural curves, which work like shock absorbers to help your body maintain balance and to move your spinal column through its full range of motion. Your lower back (lumbar curve) bears most of your weight, so proper alignment of this section can prevent injury to your vertebrae, disks, and other portions of your spine.
Checklist for improve posture:
If your head and neck project forward, your back automatically goes out of alignment. Your goal is to position your head over your neck so that you can look directly ahead without feeling tension in your neck. Another great side benefit of keeping your head up and your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned is that you appear more confident, which provides a boost to your ego.

For example, the psychiatric nurse cared for a patient who continuously pressed his shoulders down with his hands—so that he wouldn't float away. While this man was clearly suffering from something other than gravity depravity, the image left me with a last­ing impression: pressing your shoulders down provides a stabilizing anchor for your entire body. Tension in the muscles that lift your shoulders and sup­port your back is the primary cause of most shoulder pain. I've noticed that the shoulders lift at the first sign of fatigue during exercise. To relax your neck and shoulders anytime, do the following: Stretch your head and ear toward your shoulder to alle­viate stiffness in your neck, and rotate or shrug your shoulders to ease tightness.

Minor adjustments in the alignment of your neck, shoul­ders, and back make a dynamic difference in the health of your back as well as your appearance. You can also mini­mize a less-than-flattering silhouette by increasing muscle tone. With appropriate posture when standing, it should be possible to draw a straight line from your earlobe, through your shoulder, hip, and knee, and into the middle of your ankle. Did you ever try to walk like a model by balancing a book on your bead? Today s supermodels that strut the cat­walk with shoulders thrown back and hips forward—often done while teetering on super high heels—would be hard- pressed to accomplish the book-balancing feat.

Standing without slouching, rounding your shoulders, or exaggerating the natural curves of the spine instantly gives you a more youthful and energetic appearance. Furthermore, you can do your own breast lift by lifting your chest while standing tall. Someone advised that the most flattering position for females when sleeping and lying down is with one or both arms overhead. She also suggested that if you want to have an honest look at your naked self, stand before the mirror wearing only boots. By the way, the best way to sleep is on your side with your knees bent, a pillow to support your neck, and a firm mattress.

When you're standing straight, make sure your abs and glutes are gently contracted. My ballet studies taught me that standing straight does not mean holding your spine rigid like a toy soldier. There is always a slight curvature to the spine, maintaining the pelvis in a neutral position, not tilted for­ward or backward. "Neutral spine" is the natural position of the spine when all body parts are in correct alignment.

The most common muscle imbalance leading to back pain is due to weak abdominal muscles and an excess of belly fat that causes the abdomen to protrude. Severe back pain is the direct result, as the abdomen is straining rather than supporting the back. Exercise can help reduce and even eliminate muscle imbalances. You can exercise weaker muscles to catch them up to stronger ones and work to correct and maintain overall stability. After the initial correction of bad posture habits, these movements tend to become automatic and require very little effort to maintain.

Alleviate tension in your back by relax­ing your knees. Unlocking your knees lets you more easily accommodate the natural S curves in your back. Next time you are standing in line at the grocery store and you feel lightness in your lower back, try flexing (bending) your knees while simultaneously tightening the muscles of your abdo­men and gluteus to bring your pelvis into a more neutral position. Be careful not to exaggerate this position by tilting your hips.

Good foot posture helps to put your entire body into balance. Place your feet slightly apart, with one foot positioned slightly in front of the oilier and knees bent just a little bit. Lift the arches of your feet slightly, so that your body weight is supported by out­side edges of your soles. And when you stand or walk, your toes should point almost straight ahead.

According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, "We're all susceptible to foot and ankle injuries, but we can reduce our risk by wearing properly fitting shoes that conform to the natural shape of our feet." It is truly basic, common sense. Orthotics, custom-made inserts for your shoes, can be worn with well-fitting footwear to address certain issues of your feet and lower body. Custom orthotics arc prescribed by a physician and are usually one aspect of a therapy program. By the way, pedicures don't qualify as a therapy, but they sure do look good.

The Right Way to Sit:
•Sit in chairs with straight backs or lumbar (lower-back) support.
•Maintain your cars, shoulders, and hips in a straight line, with your head up and your stomach pulled in.
•Sit back in your chair.
•When sitting at a desk, think in terms of right angles (90 degrees, or the shape of an L). Your knees should be at 90 degree angles when the soles of the feet are touching floor. Your back and thighs should form 90 degree angles when your body is silting properly in a chair, with your legs uncrossed. Your wrists should be straight, with your elbows at 90 degree angles when your hands are on the desk or keyboard.
•Turn by moving your whole body rather than by twisting at your waist
•Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than thirty minutes.
•Move to the front of the seat of your chair and stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist.

Lose the Fat, Keep the Bone

Because of the obesity epidemic, health-care professionals often encourage their patients to reduce their body fat to lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, the potentially negative effect of weight loss on your bones should also be an important con­sideration. It is well known that rapid weight loss—particu­larly in women over fifty years of age—can take a toll on bone density.

In general, people with low body weight face a greater risk for reduced bone mass and bone fractures. Younger women can also develop osteoporosis, usually due to a poor diet, low body weight and the resulting estrogen loss, calcium deficiency, and malnutrition. Studies show that overly restrictive dieting at any age affects the bones sooner than later, increasing the risk for osteoporosis and fractures throughout life. If your doctor recommends weight loss, discuss your concerns about bone loss and request an evaluation of your bone density. The best way to lose weight with bone health in mind is to do the following:
1.  Lose weight very gradually—a maximum of one to two pounds per week.
2.  Maintain healthy nutrition—include foods with calcium and vitamin D.
3.  Focus on increased activity rather than food deprivation.
4.  If you need to reduce calories, decrease the fat calories and keep the protein.
Don't kill yourself to be the thinnest babe on the block. A diet that contains vital and wholesome foods will support a stronger life force. Be physically active, eat a nutritious diet, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Nutritional Synergy to Improve Your Bone Density

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, you are at increased risk of osteoporosis if match any following item:
1.    You are female.
2.    You are older than fifty.
3.    You have a family history of the disease
4.    You have a personal history of fractures as an adult
5.    You are Caucasian or Asian.
6.    You are small-boned and weigh less than 127 pounds.
7.    You smoke cigarettes.
8.    You drink too much alcohol.
9.    You consume too little calcium
10.   You get little or no weight- bearing exercise.

Certain risk factors, such as age, gender, and genetics, are not subject to change, others, such as tobacco and alcohol use, diet, and exercise, are known as modifiable risk factors, things you have the power to change, if you are still smoking, stop already!

Getting calcium from food improves your bone density more than taking it as a supplement, probably because of other micro- nutrients in the food and a little thing called synergy. Synergy means that the parts of things, taken together, are really equal to more than the whole. In other words, you can't just pull out one ingredient and get the same benefit.  Actually a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D contributes to the health of your bones and works synergistically to make your skeleton stand strong and tall.

The human body requires more calcium than any other min­eral. The adult human body contains about 1,000 to 1,200 mg (milligrams) of calcium, with at least 99 percent of the calcium found in the bones and teeth, giving them strength and rigidity. Getting enough calcium from food or supplements is essential because the human body doesn't produce it. Every day that your body doesn't absorb enough calcium to meet its needs, your body "borrows" calcium from your bones to support the proper func­tioning of your heart, muscles, and nerves and for blood to clot. If this net loss continues day after day, your bone density will steadily decline over time, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.

The amount of calcium that your body can absorb from your digestive tract into your body's circulation depends on several factors including:
1) Vitamin D intake: Adequate vitamin D intake from food and sunlight must be present for calcium absorption.
2) Age: It is very important to maintain strong and dense bones to minimize the effects of calcium loss after age forty.
3) The bioavailability of the foods you consume.
Bioavailability determines how much of the calcium you consume is actually absorbed and utilized by your body. In the United States, milk, yogurt, and cheese arc the major contributors of calcium in the typical diet. (Nonfat and low-fat dairy products have the same amount of calcium as the full-fat variety.

Some vegetables naturally contain phytic acid or oxalic- acid, which are substances that can interfere with optimal calcium absorption. While these substances do not affect the absorption of other calcium-containing foods eaten at the same time, you may have to eat several servings of foods, such as spinach, sweet potatoes, and beans (soy­beans are better absorbed), to obtain the same amount of calcium as is present in one cup of milk.
 Following are some good food sources of absorbable calcium:
Plain low-fat yogurt (1 cup)............................. 448 mg
Sardines, canned in oil (3 ounces)................... 324 mg
Milk, skim (1 cup)......................................... 316 mg
Cheese, mozzarella, part skim (1.5 ounces)........ 310 mg
Orange juice, calcium fortified (1 cup).............. 300 mg
Soy milk, calcium fortified (1 cup).................... 300 mg
Before adding a calcium supplement to your diet, consider your total daily intake of calcium from all foods, including those fortified with calcium. The UL (tolerable upper limit) for calcium is 2,500 mg per day.
It may be necessary to take supplements to ensure that you meet your daily calcium requirement. Sources of calcium exist in nature only in combination with other substances. These substances are called compounds, or calcium salts. The two best calcium supplements arc calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Both types arc readily available, contain large amounts of ele­mental calcium, and dissolve well in the body. Remember that

From supplements is best when the supplement is taken in doses of 500 mg or less throughout the day, with meals. Experts discovered this last bit of advice the hard way. Like many postmenopausal women, taking calcium and doing weight- bearing exercise to stave osteoporosis. Alter having several normal bone density tests, over several years, the experts were surprised to have a test that reported osteopenia, which while not a disease does indicate low bone density and can lead to osteoporosis. After consulting with my doctor, I learned that I was mistakenly taking my daily 1,500 mg dose of calcium all at once, instead of spreading it out over the day in doses of no more than 500 mg. What a difference that made! The next year I was back in the normal range for bone mineral density.
Vitamin D is manufactured in your skin through exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight and is necessary for the absorp­tion of up to 65 percent of calcium. Like calcium, vitamin D levels decline with age, with bone loss generally greater in the winter. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women age fifty or under get 400 to 800IU of vitamin D per day and that women fifty or older get 800 to 1,000 IU. Good sources of vitamin D are fortified milk, egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and supplements.
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