The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association have released new guidelines for physical activity that recommend that healthy adults ages 18 to 65 exercise a minimum of five days per week in order to promote health and prevent disease.

Loss of height of one inch or more may be an indicator of a vertebral fracture.That means one of the 29 “backbones” forming the spine might have a crack or be slightly crushed.These vertebral fractures are much more common than one would think and vertebral fracture is emerging as an important indicator of osteoporosis. For many years it has been standard practice for doctors to recommend bone density evaluation (with “DEXA” scans, or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, a special type of X-ray) around menopause because estrogen is a potent bone-builder, and estrogen begins to wane at menopause, or even before menopause.According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 30 million American women (and 14 million American men) have osteoporosis today. This is a preventable disease, and if not prevented can seriously compromise quality of life, and, ultimately, longevity also.The DEXA scans measure bone density at several sites and give a standardized “score” to the bone density (called the T-score). A T-score of zero (0) is perfect.Anything below zero represents bone loss.A T-score of minus 1.5 (-1.5) means osteopenia (bone loss) and a T-score...

There are many approaches to weight loss; it is a multi-million dollar industry in our land of plenty. The bottom line is to eat fewer calories than you expend daily, but not drastically fewer, until you’re happy with how you fit into your clothes, then resume a diet and exercise program that will maintain the desired weight. You can dress up weight loss with grapefruits, or cabbage stew, or Hoodia, but really, the only thing that works is to burn more calories than you’re eating. Regular, preferably daily, exercise is a must; and a brisk 45-minute walk is a terrific choice.Make sure to commit to a movement program that you enjoy.Exercise not only burns calories, but gets you away from the fridge, stimulates blood flow, improves tissue oxygenation and the overall sense of well-being, and promotes lymphatic drainage which will help rid the body of toxins.Dean Ornish, MD (new age cardiologist) says “Walk your dog every day, even if you don’t have one.”A basic comprehensive detox program is very helpful with weight loss.Drink plenty of fresh, pure water. At least...

Q: Why Do I Crave Foods That Are “Bad” For Me? A: This is a big question. Part of the answer involves understanding the relationship between your individual digestive system and the wide variety of food choices out there. Much of what passes for “food” has not even been grown in the ground. Start with this: eat real food. Eat food that HAS grown in the ground, optimally in certified organic soil, and choose food that grew there in the good earth not too long ago. Each person has a unique relationship with food depending on various factors. For example, family background. How was food presented to you as a child? Was candy given as a bribe or treat? Food choices would ideally also be predicated on blootype. Also, consider your caloric requirements: how much do you exercise, are you mostly sedentary during the day, is your day-to-day work highly mentally demanding? When you crave a certain food, and it’s a whole food (such as a juicy ripe peach) and when you eat that food and feel good and satisfied,...

From Women’s Health, January 2005 Q: I’m a 70-yr old female. What can I do naturally to improve my bone health and vertebrae deterioration? (H.G., Schooleys Mt., NJ)

Please print and affix with thy most favorite refrigerator magnet: Thou shalt honor thy health and good spirits above all else. Thou shalt not go on crash diets; there lieth the way of madness. Thou shalt not clean thy neighbor’s plate. Thou shalt not eat when thine eye lusteth but when thy stomach doth supplicate for sustenance. Thou shalt sup chiefly on the fruits of the earth, the grains and vegetables thereof; on the fowl of the air and the fish of the seven seas, whence donuts cometh not. Thou shalt not eat when thou art miserable, for food is not a medicine unto the soul. Thou shalt take exercise daily; for why hast thou sinew and bone, legs and sneakers? Thou shalt be patient but not forgetful of meal times. Thou shalt take delight in every good friend and good song, in every good walk and good day; for to enjoy them more is why these commandments are given unto you. Thou shalt not knit thy brow if thou transgress a commandment, but forgive thyself; for it is written,...

Q: Is it dangerous to basically just exercise on the weekend? I don’t have time to workout during the week.

Old age is a consequence of civilization; it is seen seldom in primitive societies and very rarely seen in wild animals. Although in this century the average lifespan of women and men has increased by 30% since the onset of industrialization and by over 300% since Neolithic times, we don’t exactly know how or why aging occurs. We do know that aging is a function of cells ceasing to divide. Some scientists speculate that any given differentiated cell can only divide a fixed number of times (as opposed to a cancer cell, which is undifferentiated, and theoretically immortal in that it continues, unchecked, to divide). The human body has more than 10 million, million (that’s 13 zeroes) cells, all of which are differentiated into nerve, muscle, adipose, etc., and are thus mortal. Given that we all die at some point, the objective now is to maximize the QUALITY of our lives and avoid controllable causes for pre-mature death.

Curbing Carbohydrate Cravings There are many approaches to weight loss; it is a multi-million dollar industry in our land of plenty. The bottom line is to eat fewer calories than you expend daily, but not drastically fewer, until you’re happy with how you fit into your clothes, then resume a diet and exercise program that will maintain the desired weight. Regular, preferably daily, exercise is a must; and a brisk walk is a terrific choice. Exercise not only burns calories, but gets you away from the fridge, stimulates the cardiovascular system thereby improving bloodflow, tissue oxygenation and the overall sense of well-being, and promotes lymphatic drainage which will help rid the body of toxins.

Q: I’ve been accused of being a couch potato. I suppose it’s true but I’m just not the natural Joe Athlete type. I have no fundamental interest in playing tennis or jogging. But I still want to look good and feel good when I reach (shudder) middle age. Any recommendations?