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Tips for a Healthier You


The personal trainers to the stars answer some of your health and fitness questions:

Q: What are some basic exercises to help prevent osteoporosis?

A: Dr. Greg Vanakaris:

Exercises for someone diagnosed with osteoporosis or the prevention of it should consist of weight bearing routines that place stress on the spine and long bones of the body.

The bones strengthen and remodel when compressive type stresses are applied to them. Lateral stresses from muscle tendon attachment sites when muscles are contracting also have an effect on bones.

Some examples of exercises that you can do in the gym, at home or even while traveling are: Squats, Leg Presses, Overhead Shoulder Presses, Jumping Rope, Running Stairs and Walking on a Treadmill.

All of these exercises are dependent upon your fitness levels and should be done with proper bio-mechanics to ensure safety and maximum efficiency.

If someone has been diagnosed with osteoporosis or has a family history of it, they should consult with a physician prior to beginning a routine because the degree of osteoporosis would limit their ability to do certain exercises.

Q: How can a woman get back in shape after giving birth?

A: Gunnar Peterson:

Just like your baby will be doing - crawl before you walk, walk before you run. If you worked out regularly, don't just jump back in where you were prior to conception. Listen to your body, that is the key.

Also realize that if you are breast feeding it may be hard to get back to where you were - keep in mind that the body has gone through an enormous change, so be patient.

Start with the basics and take more rest in between. And remember: don't abandon the weights to do the cardio - thinking you have to lose the weight first - because the weights will help you lose the weight.

Q: When you are trying to improve your diet, how do you get your family involved?

A: Cheryl Ingram:

The easiest way to incorporate your family is you start to change the diet slowly. Usually women are traditionally cooking and doing the work in the kitchen, so that's it.

I have three musts that are very easy and very simplistic. One would be water. Ninety percent of the people walking around everyday are dehydrated. The first thing you want to do is, write down every amount of water you drink for three days - soda and coffee do not count as water, they are liquids but not water - then start from there. The minimum is the traditional 64 ounces - 8-eight ounce glasses. If you hit 64 ounces that's lovely, but what you need is more in the 75-110 ounce range, in all honesty.

For instance if you currently drink 32-64 ounces now and you added about 15 more ounces to your diet, you'd probably end up losing 2-3 pounds just in water weight because pushing more water through your body is actually going to allow the toxins to breakdown and flush any excess water you're holding onto.

The earlier you consume the water the better off you are. Leeza will drink anywhere from 25-35 ounces during her workout. That gets her going.

In my opinion, you do the pee test: if your family or your co-workers are wondering what the heck you are doing in the bathroom so much, then you are consuming the right amount of water. Also you want to be peeing as close to clear as possible. And that is your best gauge.

I know it sounds like a lot, but if you can start in the morning and consume most of your water by 2-3 P.M., you're not going to be up two or three times at night.

Number two, eat smaller portion at meals. We were rewarded as children for eating our first helping by getting another helping. So cut your portion size in half. If you have a hard time doing that and you find yourself adding food to the plate and going back for that normal quantity. Look at the plate before you set it down and literally spoon the food on and take it back off before you sit down to the table.

And third, no complex starches after noon. That means breads, pastas, rice and potatoes. Your body has the ability to break down those sugars and breakdown the complexity of those types of carbohydrates throughout the rest of the day before you go to sleep. And if those carbs are not broken down, they basically will turn to fat.

So what can you eat? Greens or any types of vegetables are good, and proteins throughout the day.


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