Do You Know How Your Bones Grow?

by Jenna Ksaibati April 29, 2015

There are 206 bones in your body and each one has a job to do. Your ribs protect your lungs, heart and liver and your spine keeps you upright; but what can you do for your bones? Making sure your bones are healthy is important and understanding how they grow is a great place to start. Take a look at this easy and fun guide to better understand your bones.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Weight Room

by Jenna Ksaibati April 24, 2015
This month, we’ve learned how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle and keep our bones strong. One of the main ways to do so is to perform weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Many women find it difficult to imagine even walking into the weight room at the gym, but you don’t need to feel intimidated.

We’re All In The Same Boat

Everyone has to start somewhere. You don’t need to begin with the same amount of weight as the strongest person in the room. Start small and work your way up – even just a few pounds will be the first step to healthier bones. Remember that every person in the weight room probably started exactly where you are at one point. And they probably felt intimidated at one point, too.

Tips To Make A Gym Visit Easier

Arrive with a plan and stick to it. Know what you want to accomplish and reach that goal before you leave the room. Bring music to listen to and a positive attitude so the entire experience is not only healthy, but fun, too. Making friends with those around you can also help. You never know who may need some encouragement or be in the same position as you.

Don’t wait. Do weights. Just One Thing to think about…

Exactech Technology Improves Knee Replacement Surgery

by Jenna Ksaibati April 23, 2015

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Petty talked with WCJB-TV20 News Anchor Emily Burris about the growing number of patients who turn to knee replacement surgery to end their knee pain. Not only are the numbers of knee replacement surgeries increasing, but the number of younger patients receiving them is increasing, as well. Dr. Petty discusses the latest answer to help these surgeries result in quality outcomes that last longer.

Advancements In Knee Replacement Surgery

by Jenna Ksaibati April 21, 2015

Sometimes you need more than just the basics. That’s what Edward Lacombe, a knee replacement surgery patient, found out when his knee replacement surgery required something more advanced. Orthopaedic surgeons at North Florida Regional Medical Center, like Dr. Mark Petty, now use Exactech to improve the precision of knee replacement surgery. This new technology will help decrease pain, increase recovery time and increase the lifespan of the new knee. To learn more about the benefits of Exactech, watch this WCJB TV-20 report.

Your Children’s Bones Growing Strong?

by Jenna Ksaibati April 20, 2015

Bone is living, growing tissue. For most, peak bone mass is reached during their late teens and early twenties. This means that in order to prepare, your body should be as healthy as possible during your childhood. Once you have reached your peak bone mass, your bone mass only decreases as you age. If you do not take care of your bones, a low peak bone mass may lead to weak, brittle bones and osteoporosis. There are ways to ensure your children have healthy bones so they can avoid bone issues later in life. Teach them healthy habits now when it can help the most.

How To Help Your Children Have Strong Bones

You and your children are preparing for everything from play dates to sports teams to school but something even more important to prepare for is reaching their peak bone mass. The two most important things for your children to do to have healthy bones is to have a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

A lot of children do not get the correct amount of calcium in their diets. The amount of calcium your body needs depends on your age. For example, during your teenage years you need more calcium than during your first few years of life or during your later years. Help your children eat the right amount of calcium by being aware of the correct amount for their age, and by providing them with calcium rich foods. A few examples would be milk and most dairy products, kale, some cereals and raw broccoli.

Additionally, in order for their bodies to absorb the calcium, Vitamin D is a must. Vitamin D can be absorbed through a healthy diet or plenty of sunlight. Excessive dieting and eating disorders can also lead to malnutrition and limit the amount of nutrients, such as calcium and Vitamin D, your child needs to reach a healthy peak bone mass. Encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising instead.

Just like how exercise strengthens your muscles, exercising also strengthens your bones. Try to keep your kids off the couch and on their feet moving. Weight-bearing exercises are best; some examples are running and participating in sports such as basketball, soccer and dance.

It may be hard to entice your children to eat their vegetables and exercise, but a great way to show them this is the right thing to do is to teach by example. If they see you eating healthy and exercising, they may be more inclined to do the same.

There’s Still More You Can Do

Make sure your children know that smoking and excessive drinking is very bad for their health and especially their bones. Stay in contact with their pediatrician and make sure to ask about your children’s bone health if you have any concerns.

If you would like to read more about children’s bone health, visit The National Institute of Health Website online. Or call Consult-A-Nurse at (800) 611-6913 for a physician referral.

Just One Thing – Myths Vs. Facts

by Jenna Ksaibati April 17, 2015

Don’t be fooled.

There are plenty of myths floating around out there about bone and joint health. They can be misleading. Myths can be unnecessarily scary or – on the flip side – they can give us false confidence. We need to take a stand and be active when it comes to the health of our bones and joints. The best place to start? We recommend a bit of research to separate fact from fiction.

Let’s give it a try.

Is this a myth or a fact?

If you drink the proper servings of milk or take calcium supplements, your bones and joints will be healthy.


It is true that your bones require calcium to stay healthy, but they also need much more than just that. Your body needs Vitamin D to be able to absorb any calcium you consume, but there are also other very important ways to keep your bones and joints up and running including exercise and eating a healthy diet.

Myths can even turn out to do the opposite of what they assume and actually be harmful to your health. Health myths surround you every day, but you can stay on top of your health by talking to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Use your doctor as your fact checker before you act on something that could be a myth. To learn more, stay up-to-date on Women and Wellness to see more myths debunked.

When it relates to your bone and joint health, sticking to the facts is important. Just One Thing to think about…

Can You Decipher The Myths From The Facts?

by Jenna Ksaibati April 17, 2015

There are a lot of myths out there that relate to your health. How can you determine what is a myth and what is a fact? Do your research and talk to your doctor so you are the most prepared you can be. When it comes to bone and joint health, you should always have the facts.

Here are some debunked myths to get you started.

How These Stars Keep Shining

by Jenna Ksaibati April 16, 2015

Did you know that if you have low bone mass or osteoporosis, you’re in very fancy company? Osteoporosis can affect anyone, male or female, young or old. Even celebrities are not immune to this condition. These women have been affected by low bone mass and have decided to take their knowledge and use it to increase awareness of this disease.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress, singer and food writer. She also has a bone condition in which her bone mineral density is lower than normal. This condition is called osteopenia and is possibly a precursor to osteoporosis.

After suffering a leg fracture, Gwyneth received a bone scan from an orthopaedic surgeon that showed her low bone density. Her low levels of Vitamin D, an essential mineral needed to absorb the calcium your bones require, may be one of the causes of her condition. Gwyneth reminds us that your bone and joint health is vital to consider at any age.

Meredith Vieira

Meredith Vieira is an American journalist who recently shared news of her own brush with osteoporosis. After becoming menopausal and with a family history of osteoporosis, her doctor recommended a bone density test. The test revealed that she had low bone density and was headed towards osteoporosis. A long time news reporter, Meredith has brought you new findings and stories. Now she is a spokesperson for The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s awareness campaign, she dedicates her time to bringing awareness to this silent disease while sharing her own story.

Meredith knows that osteoporosis can strike at any age but that the test is easy and painless. She also knows that she doesn’t have to wait for osteoporosis to hit, although she does have low bone mass there are still things she can do to prevent further loss. She advises you to talk to your doctor to know where you are and what you can do with your bone health.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer and television host. She, like so many others, believed that osteoporosis was an old woman’s disease and since she lived a fairly healthy lifestyle she saw no reason to be concerned about it. In 2002 Joan was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Although she already had this disease, she learned that osteoporosis is reversible and there are ways to prevent further loss. After exercising and eating properly, her six month check-up showed an amazing change in her bone density.

Joan Rivers soon became a National Osteoporosis Foundation Ambassador where she brought awareness to Capitol Hill in 2005, met with the Surgeon General and worked with Congressional leaders to increase support for awareness and real action to prevent this disease.

Sally Field

Sally Field is an American actress and director. With a history of osteoporosis on both sides of her family, her doctor suggested getting a bone mineral density test. Even though she does not smoke and follows a healthy diet and exercise routine she was still at risk for osteoporosis.

In her mid-50s she was diagnosed with osteopenia and in 2005 she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Today, Sally is a spokesperson for an osteoporosis pharmaceutical company where she shares her story and brings awareness to this disease.

Osteoporosis affects 10 million people in just the United States and 18 million more Americans are at risk of osteoporosis. To speak with a doctor about your bone health please call, Consult-A-Nurse at (800) 611-6913 for a physician referral. That’s not enough? Need more information? Join us for the annual Women and Wellness Symposium May 9th to hear a presentation by Dr. Jason Shinn an orthopaedic surgeon at North Florida Regional Medical Center.

Exercising For Strong Bones

by Kelli Morton April 15, 2015

Kelli Morton is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer at Gainesville Health and Fitness. She specializes in weight training and circuit training. She says, “Nothing worth doing is ever easy.”

I have good news, and I have bad news. The bad news is, as we age, our bodies decline. But the good news is, we can be in charge, in part, of how quickly or how slowly our bodies decline. Most people exercise to increase muscle size or strength, but what about bones? Whether it’s a medical condition or simply the aging process, after time bones can wear down and deteriorate leaving them frail and brittle. However, I have more good news! Exercise can help you strengthen and maintain healthier bones!

What Types of Exercises Strengthen Bones?

There are two types of exercises that are most important for building stronger bones: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

Weight-bearing exercise is any physical activity that’s done against gravity. Our bodies are good at maintaining only the muscle and bone needed to accomplish the tasks we give it. Not an inch more. So it’s important to keep loading your muscles and bones by simply using the pull of gravity. These exercises can be high impact such as dancing, running or jumping rope. Or, if you already have an injury or bone density issues, it will be better to keep weight-bearing activities low impact, such as the elliptical machine, low-impact aerobics classes or fast walking.

Muscle-Strengthening Exercises

Secondly, make sure you’re training with muscle-strengthening exercises. This includes body weight training, weight lifting or using resistance bands. All of these will challenge the muscle and force it to grow stronger and healthier. Having more muscle mass helps to create and maintain stronger, denser bones.

Even More Benefits

Another added benefit of having more muscle is a decreased risk of falling. A major concern with low bone density is the likely probability of breaking a bone in the case of a fall.

So to add to your weight bearing exercise and muscle strengthening routine, some beneficial bonus training would be balance training. This can also serve to strengthen the muscle, but more specifically will directly reduce the risk of falling, which is when most bone breaks happen.

Tai chi, yoga and Pilates are great for balance training and core strength, but there are also simple exercises you can do at home to improve your balance such as:

  • Balancing on one foot
  • Calf raises
  • Posterior leg raises
  • Lunges
  • Standing on a pillow or couch cushion (then try it one leg at a time)

Building bone density doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many great ways to incorporate bone-building activities to your day. Prioritize your health and have fun training your muscles and bones!

As always, before starting any exercise routine check with your doctor to find out what exercises will be best for you. For more information visit Gainesville Health and Fitness or the National Osteoporosis Foundation online and stay up to date on Women and Wellness!

Vitamin D Fortified Foods For Bone Health

We’ve come a long way from the early days of the 20th century when nutritional deficiencies caused a lot of health problems. Rickets, in particular, caused weak and deformed bone structure in children due to a lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient to help the body absorb calcium that is necessary to build strong bones and teeth. However, with the introduction of fortified foods and particularly vitamin D fortified milk, rickets has all but been eradicated in children.

Since sunlight is another way to provide vitamin D to our bodies, there has been a rise in vitamin D deficiencies as more media has focused on the detrimental hazards of sun exposure. Studies have shown that in addition to weakening your bones, vitamin D deficiency may be associated with conditions like cancers, asthma, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune diseases that can affect the function of your thyroid. In children, vitamin D deficiencies brought about rickets while bone weakening in adults is called osteomalacia. The benefits of vitamin D to our bodies is the way it helps overall bone health and decreases the mortality rate for old women.

Vitamin D is a necessary part of our whole nutritional health. Fatty fish, fish-liver oils and eggs are the few foods that naturally contain this essential nutrient. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet, as it is difficult to get the necessary amount of vitamin D from just eating the food that provides it naturally. Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals often contain added vitamin D, as do some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine and other food products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database Web site lists the nutrient content of many foods. It also provides a comprehensive list of foods containing vitamin D.

Follow carefully any diet program your healthcare professional recommends. If you think you are deficient in some vitamins and minerals and would like to pursue a richer, Vitamin-fortified diet or take additional vitamin supplements, be sure to work closely with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations for appropriate foods and vitamin dosages, as getting too much vitamin D can conversely lead to Vitamin D toxicity. You may be at greater risk if you have health problems such as liver or kidney conditions or if you take some diuretics.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) for children and most adults. The recommendation for adults over age 70 is 800 IU daily. Above 4,000 IU a day the risk of adverse effects increases. Finally, keep in mind that doctors may recommend higher does of vitamin D for a short time to treat an underlying medical problem such as vitamin D deficiency. However, such doses should always be under the care of a doctor.