How the Magalona girls prevent bone disease

Oct 5, 2013
Sisters Saab and Maxene Magalona, like their mom Pia (not in photo), maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid bone disease, especially osteoporosis.

The female members of the Magalona family could be among the most energetic in Philippine show business.

Mom Pia studied ballet in her youth. Later on, she started doing yoga and Pilates, and for a time tried Zumba. Now, she walks during mornings and evenings.

Daughters Maxene and Saab embrace the same pursuits.

Maxene runs and boxes, while Saab goes to the gym with a personal trainer and practices yoga.

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This dedication to fitness is what has kept the Magalonas beautiful, and more importantly, healthy.

The demands of showbiz, however, have left Pia struggling to find time for exercise.

After all, she personally looks after the careers of her children—Max, Frank, Saab, Elmo, and Arkin—who are becoming well-loved celebrities in their own right.

“I honestly could do better,” says Pia.

“I can use the excuse that I have no time for it, but I know that the only way to achieve this is to actually make time.”

Despite her hectic schedule, Pia manages to fulfill her duties as mother of eight, manager of five, and an active individual with aplomb.

One look at her and she obviously has mastered the art of multi-tasking.

She describes her day as waking up at 5:30 a.m. to help prepare Arkin, 13, and Clara, 12, for school.

She drops them off and picks them up herself, and in between, juggles walking the dogs and running errands—which may be as mundane as doing the groceries, to glamorous events, like a photo shoot.

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She and her two younger children have an early dinner, followed by a walk, then it’s off to bed at 8:00 in the evening.

Pia Magalona still knows how to have fun and make time for what's important to her.

“Socializing with friends is one of the best types of therapy!” she declared.

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While it can be challenging to create a rhythm of discipline when it comes to her family’s health, Pia credits consistency as a key in their active lifestyles.

Truly, the hardest and most crucial step is making the commitment to be healthy.

A recent study found that 58 percent of Filipinos find it difficult to have the discipline to exercise regularly, with 40 percent of us claiming we are too busy or don’t have the energy to exercise.

“It’s important to exercise with the family because we need to share the value of being physically fit with each other.

“This way, exercise becomes a part of our lives and our routine,” says Pia, who was inspired by her own mom to be physically active.

At 74, Pia’s mom walks, bathes, and takes care of her dogs personally, and does the laundry and housekeeping chores herself.

ACTIVE, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Exercise is widely acknowledged as one of the most important aspects of keeping healthy. It helps prevent lifestyle diseases such heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

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But many people still do not know that an inactive lifestyle can also be a precursor to bone disease, especially osteoporosis.

“Progress in technology and urban living has changed lifestyles: children have no sports, they play computers,” said Dr. Miles Dela Rosa, president of the Osteoporosis Society of the Philippines Foundation Inc. (OSPFI).

“We lack physiologic balance and healthy bones that need physiologic motion.”

Studies reveal that an inactive lifestyle can lead to brittle bones. When bones become brittle, it is easier to get fractures, even without trauma.

Broken bones due to brittleness may result in severe pain, disability, and even death.

In the Philippines, it is estimated that over four million Filipinos will be at risk for osteoporosis by 2020.

Moreover, sitting is now called the new smoking. A separate study by Nielsen Philippines showed that Filipinos are the second heaviest Internet users in Southeast Asia, spending 21.5 hours online per week.

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“I am raising my family to be strong and resilient,” Pia said on her family’s bone health.

“As a mom, I lead by example. As parents, we are our children’s mentors. They can feel if we are sincere in what we do, so we really need to develop a take-charge attitude.”

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This attitude extends to her daughters’ professional and personal commitments.

Pia also maintains her family’s bone health through their diet, which she says consists of food rich in vitamins and minerals: eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables.

The family eats calcium-rich food such as yogurt, cheese, and milk in its different forms.

As the face of Filipino working moms, Pia advocates a holistic approach to health.

“We should be self-disciplined, enough to be able to enjoy the good things in life, by living the good life.

“We should stay active and mentally alert by getting enough rest, exercise, and having the correct diet. These are all important to maintain good health, especially for the bones.”

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Sisters Saab and Maxene Magalona, like their mom Pia (not in photo), maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid bone disease, especially osteoporosis.
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