Why Maintaining Bone Health Starts in Youth

What our children do for their bone health now – like exercising and eating right – can stave off disabling disease later in life.

It’s a well-known fact that exercise is one of the healthiest and most beneficial things we can do for our bodies over the course of our entire lifetime. When most people think of the benefits of exercise, weight loss is often the first thing that comes to mind. Regular exercise helps us burn more calories to shed extra weight and prevent obesity, which comes with its own plethora of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But regular exercise is also crucial to stave off many other health conditions, including one that many people might not be aware of: osteoporosis.

With age, the density of our bones can begin to deteriorate, eventually leaving them very weak and fragile. Osteoporosis ultimately “thins” our bones, putting them at high risk for fractures and breakage. Most young people aren’t actively thinking about weakening bones because the condition typically doesn’t occur until the later years of life (60’s or 70’s). But here’s the catch. Research tells us that preventing this disease actually begins in adolescence. In fact, the bone that’s developed between the ages of 10 and 18 is the bone that must last you the rest of your life. So reaching peak bone density during this time is absolutely essential to protecting ourselves later as adults and seniors. So what can we do for our kids to help them build up the strong bones they need for later in life? The answer lies in exercise and nutrition.

Exercise is an integral part of building strong bones, but it goes hand in hand with nutrition. The foods we eat (or don’t eat) have just as much impact on our future bone health as our activity level and can help add to our bone bank for later on. When most people are asked about how they think strong bones are built, the first answer given is usually related to calcium intake. Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, white beans, kale and spinach are excellent sources of calcium. However, while this mineral is essential for the proper development of bones, the body is unable to absorb it without the addition of vitamin D. Many foods today, like cereal and orange juice, come fortified with vitamin D, but shrimp and tuna are excellent sources as well. And let’s not forget sunlight. Just 10 minutes of direct sunlight exposure three times a week provides what the body needs to produce enough vitamin D. Another contributor is vitamin K, which is essential in helping the body build the proteins necessary for healthy bones. Vitamin K also stimulates calcium absorption and reduces its excretion. You can fill up on it with kale, spinach and broccoli. And one thing to reduce is caffeine (especially for young people). It’s not necessary to cut it out altogether, but consuming too much (more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day) can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb enough calcium.

Exercise and nutrition are important for building strong bones when we’re younger and are essential for maintaining bone strength when we’re older. We only get one set of bones. Understanding this and preparing to keep them healthy in youth is vital to our health in our older years. Parents, you can help your kids get the right nutrition and set an example for them of an active lifestyle to prepare them for a healthy future. The most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late. Making healthy changes today is better than never making them at all. So kick your diet and exercise into gear and look forward to a stronger, healthier you – for you and for the generations coming after you.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Ice or Heat: How to Treat Common Injuries

Original Article By John Donovan at WebMD

That sports-filled weekend was a big thrill. But now it’s over, and you’re feeling it.

Your back aches. Your ankle is sore. You can’t remember where you put the ibuprofen. After all that testosterone-filled fun, it’s time to take stock of your bumps and bruises. You need to see where you stand, physically. If you can stand at all, that is.

Should You See a Doctor? There are no set rules. But in general, see the doctor if:
  • Your injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
  • You can’t tolerate any weight on the area
  • A longtime sore joint is weak
  • When to Treat It Yourself

If none of those apply, it’s probably OK to wait a little while. Do some self-treatment and see how you feel after a few days.

If you’re just sore, it will get better over time, says Kenneth Mautner, assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory University in Atlanta. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for your aches and pains.

Ice or Heat?
Most of the time, ice is for comfort rather than true treatment, says R. Amadeus Mason, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and family medicine at Emory.

Ice controls pain and closes your blood vessels to ease swelling. It can also limit bruising. Use it during the first 48 hours after you get hurt. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then take it off for the same amount of time. Wrap a wet towel or cloth around it so it doesn’t sit right on your skin. A cold water bottle will do in a pinch.

Follow the RICE treatment to do it right:

  • R for rest
  • I for ice
  • C for compression (Wrap something like an elastic bandage around the injured area.)
  • E for elevation (Keep the injured part above your heart, or at least parallel to the ground.)

Don’t use heat for a new injury. It works best to loosen tight muscles and ease aching joints before a workout or game. It can also help with ongoing problems, like tennis elbow.

Wrap or Brace?

An elastic bandage puts pressure on the hurt area, which holds down swelling. That might help you feel better, says Matt Gammons, MD, first vice president for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Braces are mostly used for long-term problems like knee arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. But if you sprain an ankle, your doctor will put you in one. A brace that lets the joint move a little can help you heal faster.

Don’t use an elastic bandage or a neoprene brace to steady a shaky joint. “If you’re wrapping because your knee feels unstable, that’s not good,” Gammons says. You need a doctor to look at it.

When Can You Get Back Out There?

Rest the area for at least 48 hours. You should be good to go if the soreness disappears and there’s no injury or swelling you can see.

If you don’t give it some time off, that sore muscle or achy joint could turn into what doctors call an overuse injury.

We know these by clever names like tennis elbow, shin splints, and swimmer’s shoulder. You’ll need to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated if you have problems with the same area time after time.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

6 Everyday Habits That Could Hurt Your Bone Health

Original Article By Carina Wolff

Most of us don’t spend too much time fretting about our bones. Not only can we not directly see them, but thinking about your bones seems like something you only have to deal with when you’re older. However, you might not realize it, but there are a number of everyday habits that could hurt your bone health. Although you might not feel the repercussions now, you won’t want to suffer the consequences later.

“It is important to protect your bone health at all ages to reduce the risk for osteoporosis and possible fractures or broken bones, which can be life-altering,” Dr. Andrea Singer, clinical director at the National Oste oporosis Foundation, tells Bustle. “Osteoporosis is a condition where too much bone is lost, not enough bone is made or both; this can result in more fragile bones which may be more likely to break. A fracture or broken bone can affect a person’s mobility, ability to live independently and impact their quality of life and ability to do the things they want or need to do.”

To make sure you reduce your risk of osteoporosis as well as injury, you’ll want to make sure you are aware of these six everyday habits that can hurt your bone health, according to experts.

1.) Not Getting Enough Sunlight
Many people know that spending time outside gives you a boost of Vitamin D, which is a critical nutrient when it comes to your bone health. “Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting your bones, both by helping your body absorb calcium and by supporting muscles needed to avoid falls,” says Singer. “If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and food, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement to make sure you get the recommended amount to support bone health.”

2.) Sitting On The Couch For Too Long
If you’re too sedentary, your bones can take a hit, as exercise can strengthen bones in the same way that it can strengthen muscles. “To build strong bones, you need weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise,” says Singer. “Weight-bearing means ‘on your feet’ exercises, so walking, running, dancing, aerobics, are all examples. Muscle-strengthening means resistance exercises, such as light weights, using exercise bands, yoga and pilates.”

3.) Smoking
That cigarette habit is doing more than just hurting your lungs. “Several studies have linked smoking with an increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures,” says Singer. “Smoking is linked to an increase in production of the stress hormone cortisol, which weakens bone and it impedes production of the hormone calcitonin, which helps build bone.”

4.) Drinking Alcohol
“Drinking too much alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium in the body,” Singer says. “It also affects the production of hormones, which have a protective effect on bone and of the vitamins we need to absorb calcium. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to more falls and related fractures.” Singer suggests limiting your drinking to no more than two drinks per day to avoid harming your bones.

5.) Drinking Soda
Most of us know that soda isn’t exactly the healthiest of beverages, but in addition to its sugar content, it can also block absorption of important nutrients. “The phosphate in the soda-pop binds with calcium so that your body doesn’t absorb it,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Victor Romano tells Bustle. Research is mixed — as there’s no good evidence that a high phosphate intake affects bone metabolism or bone density, according to Harvard Health. However, carbonated beverages have long been associated with low bone density and fractures in adolescent girls, so it’s best to go easy on the soda.

6.) Eating An Imbalanced Diet
The foods that you eat can affect your bones. “Getting enough calcium is essential to building strong, dense bones when you’re young and keeping them strong and healthy as you age,” Singer says. “Not eating a well-balanced diet that includes the recommended amount of calcium can have a negative effect on your bone development and remodeling. Too much salt in the diet can also be detrimental to bone.”

While bone health may not be top of mind now, it’s important to remember that these habits could lead to bone issues down the line.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Soy milk, tofu can boost women’s bone health, says study

Original Article By Deccanchronicle.com

They not only counter negative effects of menopause on bone and metabolic health, but also have positive impacts on bone strength for women.
Osteoporosis, decreased physical activity and weight gain are serious health concerns for postmenopausal women. Read more

Exercises with impact benefit bone health

Original Article By Medicalxpress.com

Osteoporosis is associated with high morbidity, mortality and economic costs among older people. For prevention to be successful more needs to be known about the right forms of exercise to take.

Our bones are dynamic. Throughout our lives, their tissues are constantly undergoing changes, referred to as remodeling. Osteoporosis is a common disease estimated to affect around 22 million women and 5.5 million men between 50 and 84 years of age, across Europe. Its characteristics are reduced bone mass and deterioration of bone structure which increases the risk of sufferers developing fractures. It has been calculated that by 2050, incidences of hip fractures globally are likely to increase by 310 percent in men and 240 percent in women.

Currently, healthcare interventions are geared towards prevention, with exercise playing a key role for the maintenance and strengthening of bone density. By investigating the effects of swimming, cycling and football on adolescents, the EU-funded PRO-BONE project has demonstrated that some exercise regimes are more beneficial then others. The team discovered that low-impacts sports should be augmented with short bouts of weight bearing exercises to benefit the bone health of adolescents.

Pursuit of prevention rather than treatment

Osteoporosis has a strong genetic component with epidemiological studies showing that heritable factors account for 60-80 percent of the variability in bone mineral density. Both non-modifiable (e.g. hormones) and modifiable (e.g. calcium and vitamin D) environmental factors account for the remaining bone mass variation. One of the key modifiable factors being exercise.

PRO-BONE researchers reasoned that as football, cycling and swimming are among the most popular sports practiced by adolescents around the world, their influence on bone development would be scientifically instructive to study. As Dr. Luis Gracia-Marco explains, “Not all sports have a positive influence on bone mass because bone development is dependent on the skeleton’s mechanical load and the forces applied to it. These forces trigger bone modelling and remodeling.”

For the study, PRO-BONE originally recruited 121, 12-14 year-old males—37 footballers, 29 cyclists and 41 swimmers, with a control group of 14. Researchers followed these participants over a year as they undertook their specific sports training. For the nine-month intervention study footballers, cyclists and swimmers were randomly assigned to one of two subgroups: a control group and an intervention group. The intervention took the form of progressive plyometric jump training, where practitioners exert maximum jumping force for around 10 minutes a day, three to four times a week. The participants were then examined for their bone mass, geometry, texture and a range of biochemical markers.

Comparison of the athletes indicated that the young football players had better quality of osseous (bone) than the swimmers and cyclists. They also found that for the swimmers and cyclists the jump training could significantly improve bone quantity and geometry at the femoral neck and also the lumbar spine texture (regions of clinical relevance used in the diagnosis of osteoporosis), as well as maintaining bone turnover – the process by which new bone tissue is formed.

Working out a combined strategy

Low impact sports such as cycling and swimming are known to have a number of health benefits, such as for the cardiovascular system. PRO-BONE’s findings that they do not however improve bone mass means that sport clubs and athletes can combine their practice with weight-bearing and high impact sports involving jumps, such as football, tennis, badminton or basketball.

As Dr. Gracia-Marco summarizes, “These findings show the importance of implementing weight-bearing exercises to improve bone health as part of training routines in sports characterized by low or none impact at all.”

To further advance the work, the researchers intend to follow participants over a longer period of time to better gauge the effects of the jumping program. Additionally, they hope to measure the way the most practiced sports, such as swimming and cycling, affect peak bone mass attainment.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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Take it Outside: Fun Summer Workouts

Article Featured on Foreo.com

From hiking to wakeboarding, these activities are the best ways to get fit outside the gym.

Tired of your usual workout routine? Don’t sweat it. No one wants to be inside, running on the treadmill when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet. Take advantage of the warm weather and switch up your training by trying one of these outdoor summer workouts.

Hiking

Hiking is a great activity because there are trails for people at all different exercise levels. Easier flat trails, like San Francisco’s Lands End, allow you to get the entire family involved, while stepper trails, like Yosemite’s Half Dome, offer experienced hikers a full day of activity. Most trails offer a stellar view, which sure beats the view at the gym.

Stand-Up Paddleboard

If you’re looking to try an activity to strengthen your balance and core, take a trip on a stand-up paddleboard. While it may look like a peaceful journey (and it is), this exercise is anything but easy and is a full body workout.

Paddleboard Yoga

If you’re looking to upgrade your daily yoga session, consider taking your warrior pose to the water. Paddleboard yoga incorporates the Zen of yoga with the strength training of paddleboarding. Floating on the water with the breeze in your face will soon be your favorite way to enjoy shavasana.

Bubble Soccer

You can now play soccer while encased in a giant plastic bubble. Why? You might ask. Because it’s ridiculously fun. Get a cardio workout while having the time of your life.

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the best upper body workouts you can do in the water. Choose a kayak with two seats, so you can sweat it out with a friend or significant other. After all, couples who train together, stay (strong) together.

Wakeboarding

Are you adventurous and good at swimming? We have the perfect workout for you. Wakeboarding is a sport that involves riding on shortboard while being pulled by a boat. It takes a significant amount of strength to stay upright on the board for a high-impact training session.

Get out there and get your sweat on!


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

orthopaedic care, albuquerque doctors

The Link Between Weight Loss and Knee Pain

Article Featured on Healthline

Why does my knee hurt?

Knee pain is one of the most common complications of being overweight or obese. If you’re among the millions of people who experience chronic knee pain, even a small weight loss can help reduce pain and lower the risk of osteoarthritis (OA).

According to a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the roughly 100 million American adults who experience common chronic pain, nearly 20 percent, or 20 million people, have knee pain. This is second only to the number of people with lower back pain.

More than two-thirds of people in the United States are either overweight (with a BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher).

Those extra pounds increase the stress on your knees. That stress can cause chronic pain and lead to other complications such as OA.

How weight loss affects knee pain

Maintaining a healthy weight has many health benefits, including reduced risk of a number of diseases that include:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • certain types of cancers

Losing weight benefits knee pain in two ways.

Decreases weight-bearing pressure on the knees

Each pound of weight loss can reduce the load on the knee joint by 4 pounds. Lose 10 pounds, and that’s 40 fewer pounds per step that your knees must support. And the results add up quickly. Less pressure means less wear and tear on the knees. This lowers the risk of OA.

Reduces inflammation in the body

For years, OA was considered a wear and tear disease caused by prolonged excess pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, which, in turn, caused inflammation.

But recent research suggests that inflammation is a key OA risk factor, rather than a consequence of OA. Being overweight may increase inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain. Losing weight can reduce this inflammatory response. One study suggests that just a 10 percent reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body. Another study found that even simply overeating triggers the body’s immune response, which increases inflammation.

The link between weight gain and OA

Being overweight or obese significantly increases a person’s risk for developing OA.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, women who are overweight are four times more likely to develop OA than women who are a healthy weight. And men who are overweight are five times more likely to develop OA than men who are a healthy weight.

But losing even a small amount of weight can be beneficial. For women who are overweight, every 11 pounds of weight loss can reduce the risk of knee OA by more than 50 percent. Men who drop into the overweight category (BMI below 30) and men who drop into the normal weight category (BMI below 26) can reduce their risk of knee OA by 21.5 percent.

Easy ways to lose weight

There are steps you can take to start shedding pounds, including:

  • reduce portion sizes
  • add one vegetable to your plate
  • go for a walk after a meal
  • take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator
  • pack your own lunch instead of eating out
  • use a pedometer

Taking the necessary steps to manage your weight can help protect your knees from joint pain and reduce your risk of OA.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Best Exercises for Older Adults

9 Best Types of Exercise for Older Adults

Stay strong, be safe, and maintain your independence by integrating these top fitness options into your training plan.

No matter your age, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy the most. After all, if you don’t like your workout, how long are you going to stick with it?

Still, when sampling any of the countless forms of exercise out there, it’s important to keep in mind exactly what you want and need to get out of your workout. And that’s bound to change throughout the years, says Barbara Bergin, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Austin. She explains that, for older adults, the number-one priority must be maintaining your quality of life outside the gym.

To do that, focus on workouts designed to help you build strength, maintain muscle mass, stay mobile, and improve balance and stability. Also key is considering the requirements of any given fitness option. Are your bones strong enough for high-impact exercises such as running and jumping? Is your balance where it needs to be for fall-free bike rides? How much time to do you realistically have to spend at the gym?

Below, experts share the best types of exercise for older adults. As always, it’s smart to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program, especially if you have a health condition. The good news: Assuming your doctor hasn’t said a type of exercise is off-limits, choose whatever you like—they’re all terrific.

1. Swimming

There’s a reason swimming is called the world’s perfect exercise. Whether you’re performing the breaststroke, taking a water aerobics class, or playing Marco Polo with the grandkids, getting in the pool is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness while also strengthening your muscles, says Victoria Shin, M.D., a cardiologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California.

It does all this while putting minimal stress on your bones and joints, which is a major plus for men and women who have arthritis or osteoporosis. As if that isn’t enough reason to jump in, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Aging Research suggests that swimming can help older adults keep their minds as sharp as their bodies.

Not a swimmer? You can still benefit from water exercise, such as SilverSneakers Splash. If you’re a confident swimmer, you can swim on your own. And when the weather is nice, take advantage by moving your swim sessions outdoors. Research consistently links time in nature with improved mental and physical health.

2. Yoga

With a holistic approach to fitness, yoga helps build muscle strength, aerobic fitness, balance, core stability, mobility, and flexibility—all of which are important for older adults, says David Kruse, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Orange, California.

And while yoga is low-impact and gentle on your body’s joints, it’s still weight-bearing, meaning that you have to support your body’s weight with every posture. That’s vital to strengthening not just your muscles, but also your bones.

If you are new to yoga, look for an introductory class that will teach you the basics. SilverSneakers Yoga is made for older adults. Hatha-, Iyengar-, and restorative-style classes are also great options. Talk to your class instructor about any physical limitations before getting started.

3. Pilates

Like yoga, Pilates is known for being a low-impact strength program, but its focus on core strength and stability makes it especially great for older adults, Dr. Shin says. One 2014 analysis published in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity concluded that Pilates participation improves balance in older adults.

Most gyms offer Pilates classes designed for first-timers, which is especially important for those exercisers interested in classes that rely on the “reformer,” an exercise machine that uses springs, bars, and straps for resistance.

4. Bodyweight Training

One out of every three older adults experiences severe muscle loss, according to an analysis published in Age and Ageing. Meanwhile, when it comes to fighting age-related abdominal fat—a marker for overall health—Harvard research shows that strength training is more time-efficient compared to cardiovascular exercise.

Fortunately, you don’t have to bench press your bodyweight to keep your muscles healthy and prevent fat gain over the years, says Dr. Shin. In fact, she notes, for most older adults, it’s far safer to start small. Simple bodyweight exercises such as chair squats, single-leg stands, wall pushups, and stair climbing will do a great job at keeping your body strong and ready to tackle everyday activities.

Here’s everything you need to know about strength training. Ready to try? Start with the chair squat.

5. Resistance-Band Training

Your gym undoubtedly has an array of resistance bands ready for use, but these inexpensive and beginner-friendly exercise tools are perfect for at-home workouts as well, Dr. Shin says.

In addition, bands can help you challenge your muscles in ways you might not be able to with equipment-free training. For instance, when it comes to strengthening your back (important for good, strong posture), rows and other pulling motions are vital—but hard to do if you don’t have any exercise equipment on hand.

Check out this beginner’s guide to resistance bands.

6. Walking

Even if you can’t find the time to perform a structured workout, you likely have time to put one foot in front of the other to get where you need to go, says Dr. Shin, who recommends most people take 10,000 steps per day, even on days they don’t “work out.” Research published in PLOS One found that people who increased their activity levels to 10,000 steps per day were 46 percent less likely to die in the following 10 years compared to those who stayed sedentary.

For some older adults or people with a chronic condition, 10,000 may not be the right exact number. But the fact remains: Walking is a great, free workout that can have a big impact on your health.

Easy ways to increase your step count include parking farther from the supermarket door, playing with your grandkids, taking the long route wherever you need to go, and even walking your dog. Check out these tips and the video below for awesome ways to mix up your walking workout.

7. Cycling

Another low-impact form of exercise, cycling is ideal for those who want to increase their leg strength, but can’t run or engage in other high-impact sports due to osteoporosis or joint issues, Dr. Shin says. A 2017 analysis published in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity found that cycling also helps improve cardiovascular health, metabolic health, function, and cognitive performance in adults older than 70.

If you have cycling trails near your home, consider scheduling regular bike rides with family or friends. Indoor cycling classes are another great option for those without access to trails or when weather conditions aren’t ideal. Plus, with a stationary bike, you don’t have to worry about falls or needing to wear a helmet.

Need inspiration? Meet the 72-year-old retired teacher who recently rode her bike across the country.

8. Strength and Aerobic Classes

If you attend SilverSneakers classes, you already know that group exercise isn’t just a fantastic way break a sweat. You’ll also have tons of fun and make new friends along the way, both of which are hugely important when it comes to making exercise a habit. In fact, 2017 research published in BMC Public Health notes that the social aspect of group exercise programs increases activity levels in older adults over the long term.

There is no end to the list of group exercises out there, from SilverSneakers Classic to Zumba to boot camp. If you’re nervous about jumping into a new group, ask a friend to sign up with you.

9. Personal Training

If you’re looking for more attention and instruction than group classes provide, working with a personal trainer is a great path to fitness and fun. Many offer one-on-one and small-group sessions, the latter in which you and one to three of your friends perform the same workout with the trainer. Make it easier on your wallet by using one-on-one sessions to help you get started with a program you can continue on your own or going the small-group route.

No matter which option you choose, the trainer will help you master proper form and build a solid base of exercise knowledge that you can carry with you for years to come. In addition, your workouts will likely blend elements from all of the above forms of exercise.

When choosing a trainer, make sure he or she is certified through a governing body like the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, or the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Bonus points if they have a history of training older adults.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Beware of Boot Camp Fitness Classes

Orthopedic Warning: Beware of Boot Camp Fitness Classes

Article By Dr. Ty E. Richardson of Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic | Featured on Angie’s List

An orthopedic surgeon warns of injury risks associated with the popular, so-called boot camp class.

Read more

Exercises That Are Easy On Your Joints

Exercises That Are Easy On Your Joints

Having rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t give you a pass to escape working out. In fact, regular exercise can keep your joints and muscles strong. It can also improve your heart health. That’ll make you better equipped to deal with complications that may crop up.

Other benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Less pain
  • More stability in your joints
  • More energy
  • Improved physical function and performance
  • Better bone health
  • Improved quality of life

Stretches

To ease joint stiffness and widen your range of motion, you need to stretch your muscles. Morning is a good time for gentle stretching or yoga. It’s also a good idea any time before exercise.

Leg/hamstring stretch: While standing, lean forward as far as you comfortably can and reach toward your toes. Make sure you bend your knees a little to keep your legs soft. Hold it for 10-20 seconds.

Finger/wrist stretch: Bend your fingers forward, then backward, holding each stretch for 10–20 seconds each time. Then do the same with your hand to stretch your wrist muscles.

Cross-body arm stretch: Put your arm across the front of your body and gently hold it for 10-20 seconds, then switch to the other arm. Next, reach up to the sky with one arm and then the other, tilting each arm slightly over your head to stretch your shoulders.

Neck stretches: Drop your head forward gently, and then roll it slowly toward one shoulder and back toward the other.

Yoga Poses

Cobra: Lie face-down on the floor, keeping your toes pointed away from you. Press your palms into the floor and slowly raise your upper body. Keep your elbows close to your side.

Extended leg balance: While standing, put all your weight on one foot. Use a chair or table for support and slowly lift your leg and hold it with one leg on the outside of your knee. For an even better stretch, rotate your leg out to the side from that position and hold.

Seated spinal twist: Sit up tall in a chair and put your hand on the outside of the opposite thigh. Gently twist in the direction of your arm and hold. Then, switch to the other side.

Strength Exercises

RA can slowly take away muscle mass. So, it’s important to work out your muscles to help them stay strong.

If you have swollen joints, you can do isometric exercises. They hold your muscles in one place. They also don’t make you move your joints.

If your joints aren’t swollen, isotonic exercises (movements that work against resistance, like weightlifting) are good for building up muscles.

Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of strength training.

Abdominal contractions: To do this isometric exercise, lie on your back and put your hands on your stomach muscles. Lift your head and hold it. You can continue this exercise by squeezing the muscles that lifted your head without actually picking it up, too.

Palm press: This is isometric, too. Hold your hands so they face each other. One hand should have fingertips up and the other should have fingertips down. Press your palms together and hold.

Bicep lifts: While you sit in a chair with your arms resting on your thighs palms up, hold light weights in your hands. Then, raise them toward your shoulders, bending at the elbow.

Seated knee lift: With a resistance band over your legs in a seated position, raise one leg slowly, then switch sides.

Exercises for Endurance

Your heart muscle needs a workout just like your biceps or quads do. Aerobic exercises raise your breathing and heart rates. Your best bets are exercises that get your blood pumping and are easy on your joints.

Walking: Daily walks are an easy way to get into the exercise groove. Start with slow and short strolls if you’re new to regular exercise. Then work up to longer, faster walks as you get stronger. Be sure to stretch before you start and after you finish. Drink plenty of water, too.

Cycling: A stationary bike takes away your risk of a fall. Again, start slowly if you’re a beginner, and go faster as you get better.

Swimming: Water workouts are great when you have RA. They take weight off your joints. They also raise your heart rate. Water also acts as resistance against your muscles. That can make you stronger.

You can swim laps or join a water aerobics class. Use water weights for some more muscle work.