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How strong are your bones?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Strength-training for your bones.

We don’t give much thought to our skeletal systems until we do something that results in a broken bone. But bones play a vital role in a person’s general health and fitness. Our bones support us, allow us to move, and protect our vital organs from injury. They also store minerals—such as calcium and phosphorus—that are released into the bloodstream when our systems need them, for example, for muscle contractions.

Bone loss usually occurs gradually over a long period of time. By taking steps now to maintain healthy bones, you could ward off medical conditions such as osteoporosis.

One way to maintain optimal bone health is to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Without enough vitamin D, the body cannot absorb enough calcium from the foods we eat. This causes calcium to be taken our bones, which prevents the growth of new bone and results in weaker bones.

Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, beans, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables, and fortified products such as orange juice that have added calcium. Good sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, beef liver, and milk with vitamin D. We also make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun, although not everyone is able to get enough vitamin D this way.

Another way to keep your bones strong is to engage in physical activity. The best exercises are the strength-building and weight-bearing kinds such as walking, climbing, lifting weights, and dancing.

Other ways to maintain bone health include preventing falls by reducing the risk factors that you can control. Improve your balance and strength through exercise, maintain good vision, and make sure that your home is free of “falling dangers” such as poor lighting and loose rugs. Risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, medications, and body weight are also controllable. Smoking cigarettes, like vitamin D deficiency, can keep your body from using the calcium in your diet. Alcohol and certain medications (glucocorticoids, for example) also can cause your bones to become weak or lose mass. Moreover, being too thin increases one’s risk of developing weak bones that are more likely to break. If necessary, boost your diet with calcium and vitamin D supplements. Also consider talking to your physician about your bone health.

You may have heard again and again how important calcium and vitamin D are. Maybe you’ve even taken some or all of the steps above. But if you haven’t, start now and take action! Eat the right foods and exercise for strong bones.

No weights, no gym… No problem.


Have you ever been tempted to try the exercise equipment advertised on late-night infomercials—the products that promise to enhance various body parts or provide a great workout for a low, low price? Most of it isn’t necessary to get into the shape you want. Some of the most effective workouts can be done at home­­—with only your own body weight. It’s not that equipment is bad—correct use of weights and some machines can be very effective—but it isn’t necessary, nor is it an excuse to prevent you from getting in a good workout when equipment isn’t available.

There are some clear benefits to exercising at home without the use of equipment, including saving time and money that you would spend at a gym. Most importantly, exercising by using your body weight provides you with the ability to exercise anytime and anywhere—you aren’t restricted only to the times when you have access to the piece of equipment or device. Also, there are a variety of ways to go about a home-based program, ranging from workouts on DVD to a workout you create for yourself. Those already familiar with online workouts may know that YouTube has been afire with videos of extraordinarily fit people demonstrating their workouts done with minimal equipment in their homes, backyards, or local parks. Always proceed with caution—these videos are impressive and can be useful, but realize that they come with a risk of serious injury. Before you begin any home workout, consult your physician and/or an exercise professional to determine what is safe, and best for you.

We list some examples below of fitness moves that can be performed at home without equipment. These moves should be performed properly and at the right intensity level for them to be effective and safe. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) provides an Exercise Library that displays the proper form for many exercises.

Core

Crunches (Supine Reverse, Supine Bicycle)

Plank (Front, Side)

Glute Activation Lunges

Bridge

Vertical Toe Touches

Upper Body

Inchworms

Push Ups (Standard, Single Leg Raise)

Downward-Facing Dog

Superman

Bird-Dog

Lower-Body Strength

Lunges (Forward, Side,

Bridge (Standard, Single Leg)

Squats (Single Leg)

Wall Sits

Inverted Flyers

Full Body

Spider Walks

Sprinter Pulls

Mountain Climbers

Squat Jumps (Cycled Split)

Jump and Reach

For a complete workout, visit ACE’s At Home (Without Equipment) Workout.

Perfect pushups: Which service branch offers the best methods?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Navy Times has an article that examines what the definition of a “military push-up” means to a soldier, sailor, airman and Marine.

pushup.jpgPhoto: Department of Defense

Navy Times has an article that examines what the definition of a “military push-up”  means to a soldier, sailor, airman and Marine.

Click on the link below to access the article.

Performing the perfect push-up

Hottest fitness trends for 2011: Boot camp, strength training

HPRC Fitness Arena:
According to an article in the October 28, 2010 edition of USA Today, boot-camp workouts, strength training and core exercises are among next year's top 20 trends.

mancurlingbar_shutterstock.jpg

Photo: Shutterstock.com

According  to an article in the October 28, 2010 edition of USA Today, boot-camp workouts, strength training and core exercises are among next year's top 20 trends.

Click on link below to access the article.

Boot camp, strength training will top 2011 fitness trends

Rhabdomyolysis: Potentially deadly condition from too much exercise

HPRC Fitness Arena:
ABC News affiliate WSET.com (Lynchburg, VA) has an article on rhabdomyolysis and exercise – specifically working out with P90X, an high-intensity exercise program.

ERroom.jpgPhoto: Red Wolf/Flickr

ABC News affiliate WSET.com (Lynchburg, VA) has an article on rhabdomyolysis and exercise - specifically working out with P90X, an high-intensity exercise program.  Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Some of these are harmful to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage.

Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially deadly condition that can be triggered by overdoing exercise/workout programs.

Click on link below to access the article.

Potentially Deadly Condition from Too Much Exercise

Airman provides some tried and true workout methods

HPRC Fitness Arena:
NBCwashington.com (Washington, D.C.) has an article on how one U.S. Air Force airman stays healthy and in shape for Air Force-related missions.

 

Photo: Shutterstock.commanexercisingbarbells_shutterstock.jpg

NBCwashington.com (Washington, D.C.) has an article on how one U.S. Air Force airman stays healthy and in shape for Air Force-related missions.

According to the article, Airman 1st Class Angelo Beatois is an advocate of high-intensity workouts, including sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups, combined with sprints and running.  He designed his own personal workout from the variations of exercises he learned when stationed from base to base.

Click on link below to access the article.

Tried and True Workout Methods

Fluid replacement during operations or exercise

HPRC Fitness Arena: Physical Fitness
Filed under: Hydration, Exercise
Staying hydrated is important, but is there a "best" way to hydrate?

If you sweat a lot during exercise drink lots of fluids, but do not exceed 1.5 L/hour. Sip frequently rather than gulp; drinking small amounts of fluids at a time are more effective than drinking large amounts occasionally. Also, start drinking before you become thirsty. Click here for more information.

Men and women sweat differently

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The New York Times Well blog features an article on research that studies the differences of men and women sweat.

Sweating WomanPhoto: Shutterstock.com

The New York Times Well blog features an article on research that studies the differences of men and women sweat.

According to the article, fit women seem to sweat differently than unfit people of either sex, and quite differently than fit men, a fact that has implications for sports performance.

Click on the link below to access the article.

Do Women Sweat Differently Than Men?

 

Eat a PBJ post-workout

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Want a great post-workout meal?

It’s important to eat something after a strenuous workout to replenish muscle stores of carbohydrate and have plenty of protein available to repair the body. Try a peanut butter and jelly (PBJ) sandwich for a great post workout meal! It’s cheap and packed with nutrition if you use natural peanut butter without added sugar and fats, and whole-grain bread.

For other post-exercise snacks please visit the Warfighter Nutrition Guide.

Journal entry icon

Army recruit goes from couch potato to Warfighter

HPRC Fitness Arena:
A former couch potato turned disciplined army recruit gets into fighting shape.

Runner's legs

The October 14 edition of the Recordnet.com (Stockton, CA) has an interesting piece showing how one army recruit (as well as a self-described former couch potato ) was able to loose 50 pounds in order to get ready to report for duty at Fort Benning, GA.

Read the full article here.

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