Study Reveals Better Bone Health from 1 Minute of Exercise

exercise for bone healthWhat if a research study was conducted with actual real human beings (not animals) that demonstrated a mere one to two minutes a day of exercise could result in better, stronger bones?  Well, there  is one.

With increasing age, our bones become weaker and less dense, particularly in women after menopause due to the decline in estrogen and calcium in the body.  More and more studies are finding that physical movement and activity can counteract the effects of weaker bones and any tendency toward bone fractures.

Epidemiology is the study of how often various diseases occur and also what possible ways or methods might exist to control or eradicate them.  The most recent study on the topic of bone health was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.  The burning question in the researcher’s minds was this: How do we discover what type of exercise, what quantity of exercise, and what intensity, would provide the most positive, beneficial impact on bone strength.

For the study, both pre and post-menopausal women wore small wrist monitors for a week that measured and recorded the intensity of their physical movements.  It was particularly important to the researchers to be able to record very short amounts of activity.  They looked at data for more than 2,500 women, and compared their activity levels with bone health, which was measured by an ultrasound scan of heel bone.

The outcome?  A mere one to two minutes of flat-out, intense exercise resulted in an increase in bone strength.  This translates to a minute or two of slow jogging for a post-menopausal woman or a minute or two of running for a pre-menopausal woman in order to achieve a 4% increase in bone health.  Women who did more than two minutes had a 6% increase.  (Please see further recommendations below on how to safely transition into more intense exercise).

The lead author of the study, Dr Victoria Stiles of the University of Exeter in the UK, said: “We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods. We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day.”

Dr. Stiles makes a suggestion for people who are interested in upping their levels of daily exercise.  She said: “The UK’s National Osteoporosis Society recommends increasing your walking activity first.  Further on, we would suggest adding a few running steps to the walk, a bit like you might do if you were running to catch a bus.”

Another proven way to increase bone health is to include more calcium-rich foods in the diet.  Olive oil, leafy greens, almonds, raw cheeses, yogurt, broccoli and carrots are good choices.  Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplements are also beneficial.  Not only do these minerals strengthen bone and muscle health, but they are proven to calm sleeplessness and insomnia as well.

One study published in the European Neurology Journal found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.

William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

One calcium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This formula contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for menopause insomnia, heart health, restless leg syndrome and bone strength.  It also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Sadie D. from the Netherlands says: “I am ever so grateful that I discovered Sleep Minerals II after suffering with premenopause and now the real menopause insomnia.  I felt like I was slowly losing my mind due to the continual lack of sleep.  I can’t express the relief of getting a good night’s sleep and being able to function properly.”

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.”

The main message is that a combination of exercise and calcium tend to ignite into a dynamic duo that can bring great boosts to bone health, healthy sleep and good overall health.

This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Magnesium vs Melatonin as a Natural Sleep Aid

Magnesium has many benefits for good health, one of them being its action as an effective natural sleep aid.  Melatonin supplements are also used as a sleep remedy.  These two ingredients have different qualities, different health effects, and different possible side effects.  James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients magnesium and calcium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”

One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia, accompanied with with frequent nighttime awakenings.  On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, per a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.

In contrast with mineral supplements, melatonin is a hormone which is produced by the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, the pineal gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. The body produces less melatonin with advancing age and while melatonin doesn’t require a prescription, it’s a potent hormone. It can help with sleeplessness. If too much is taken, it can result in grogginess or make it more difficult to wake up in the morning.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain.  One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression.  In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent.  Other studies have shown that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body.

Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including fibromyalgia, migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”

One possible side effect from taking too much magnesium is that the bowels may become too loose.  Another important nutritional tip that can help to avoid any deficiencies is to balance magnesium with calcium and vitamin D, rather than taking it alone.  The recommended ratio is 2 to 1 or twice as much calcium as magnesium.

According to the Mayo Clinic, possible side effects of melatonin include abdominal discomfort, anxiety, irritability, confusion and short-term depression.  Melatonin supplements can interact with various medications such as blood-thinning medications, medications that suppress the immune system, diabetes medications and birth control pills.

This health news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs and their natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.  Sleep Minerals II is the original magnesium and calcium based sleep aid and is known for soothing even the worst, long-term insomnia.  It also contains vitamin D and zinc and helps everyone from teenagers, to women with menopause symptoms, to older seniors, to get a good night’s sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals. I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them.  I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this page.

Teenage Insomnia: Studies, Remedies and Tips

teenage insomniaTeenagers are a special breed, having to face all the challenges of being in an in-between stage of life; not quite a child anymore and not yet an adult.

Along with an acceleration of social interests and activities, they also sustain accelerated physical growth and increased nutritional needs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of teen girls and 70% of teen boys aren*t getting enough calcium. Their bones are growing the fastest during the teen years and they need more calcium than at any other time of life.  The calcium deficiency can translate into irritability, nervous tension, hyperactivity, and insomnia.

Adelle Davis was the first nutritionist to base her recommendations on scientific research studies. She says: *If these hyperactive kids were recognized as victims of malnutrition and given, instead of drugs, a completely adequate diet, especially high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and D; the majority might soon be as relaxed as sacks of cotton, their minds far more alert, their energies restored to normal. I have seen it happen many, many times.*

To shed some light on teenage sleeping habits, a study was published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.  Researchers found that two-thirds of teenage high school students are sleeping less than they need to, when they actually need 9.5 hours of sleep.  Danice Eaton, author of the study and a research scientist in Atlanta said, *Research (on teens) has shown that a lack of sleep can increase depression, negative physical health, headaches, poor school performance, school absenteeism and drowsy driving.*

There is a correlation between electronics use and insomnia in teens.  A study from the Journal of Pediatrics published a survey of Philadelphia-area teens. It was found that two-thirds had a television in their bedroom, one third had a computer, 90% had their own cell phone and 79% had a personal music device.  *These technological devices activate the mind. It’s like having a stressful work conversation just before getting into bed,* said Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Pletcher doesn*t recommend sleep medication for teens, saying that,  *The risks for this age group far outweigh the benefits.*  He recommends shutting down the computer, TV, and cell phone well before bedtime and doing some relaxing and calming activities before bed.

Due to a deficiency of crucial minerals at the teenage time of life, calcium and magnesium supplements can be an effective sleep remedy.  One natural insomnia remedy that*s gaining in popularity for all ages is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  It contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium — the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. It also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Darleen T. of La Mesa, California says: “I purchased Sleep Minerals for my teenage daughter.  When she started on the minerals she hadn’t been sleeping well for the past couple of years.  She was run down and feeling beyond her years… exhausted.  She is only 18.  Once she started on Sleep Minerals she actually became tired at night, which is new. She can fall into a restful sleep by 10:30 p.m. and sleep all night. This product is a heaven send and has given her a life back.”

Besides supplementing with key minerals, there are additional tips to help teens sleep better.  Here is a summary from the Mayo Clinic and National Sleep Foundation:

    • Consuming caffeine close to bedtime can interfere with one*s sleep, so avoid coffee, tea, soda pop and chocolate late in the afternoon. Nicotine and alcohol will also interfere with sleep.
    • Limit stimulating activities and the use of electronics right before bedtime.
    • Reduce extracurricular activities. Sometimes teens are overextended and participate in too many after-school activities, too late into the evening.
    • Practice relaxing and calming activities before going to bed. For example, do gentle stretches, take a warm bath, or read a pleasant book.
    • Make the bedroom a sleep haven. Keep it cool, quiet and dark. If needed, get eyeshades, earplugs, and blackout curtains. Let in the bright light in the morning to signal the body to wake up.
    • Get regular exercise during the day, but not closer than 3 hours before bedtime.
    • Establish a regular bedtime and wake-time schedule and stick to it, coming as close to it as possible on the weekends. A consistent sleep schedule makes it easier to fall asleep.

Let*s help our teens get the sleep and nutrition they need!

For more information on Sleep Minerals II, click here.