Four years ago I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Osteoporosis. It meant a change in diet, some medication, and work out plan with strength training. The quick re-cap is I had not entered a gym at that point, for my own health, until I was sixty and again, I do not recommend that for anyone. Since I began, I have had one bone scan which showed improvement and I am scheduled for another in a couple of weeks. I know strength training has helped me in many, many ways.
I work out with a group of women who honestly have played a huge factor in me even showing up consistently…let’s face it, it is very easy to talk myself out of going that early and for that much work. I often leave all my energy for the day on the gym floor. But, as my legs have strengthed, so has my resolve to be there. One of those ladies and I have been friends for over 20 years, and she also has Osteoporosis. We always do the partner workouts together. Lately, both of us have been unhappy with our weight, so we have been “pushing” ourselves harder. We did not take into account anything else…only that we wanted to work harder to achieve our goals. That was a mistake.
We previously had power walked our warm up. But in the last couple of weeks we began to jog our warm up. During that time yesterday, her leg gave out and she fell to the basketball court and fractured her hip. It broke my heart.
Here is my point with the story…it is so important, no matter your age, to MOVE and MOVE often. But, do not pressure yourself to do more than your body is ready for. Listen to your body and your doctor. We are bombarded with messages to push harder and exercise more. I am not saying those messages are bad….but I am saying that a workout is INDIVIDUAL, and needs to be a plan tailored just for you. Do not allow comparisons with other people to push you into a routine that might not be the best. If you have Osteoporosis, then you need to take that seriously. I have not been taking it seriously and this was a major wakeup call to me.
Now, I am not gving all of us a permission slip to not work out. Strength training for me has been paying off. I even heard recently there is a new study linking strong legs to the brain and those with strong legs may have less of a chance of developing dementia. So, this was a wake up call to listen to my body…my 64 year old body with osteoporosis and not push quite as hard as I was trying to do. Baby steps are good steps. I also learned into the second year that I had to add some stretch exercises with it in order to stay injury free…so yoga or stretch classes can be your friend. Good health over 50 is a continual process and involves so many parts…don’t get too comfortable and begin to ignore some of those parts.
My friend had surgery and I know will comback strong. She is in her late fifties and is surrounded by friends and family who will help her comeback. But, running will not be in the picture for either of us.
DESPITE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, KEEP SMILING!
Here is some equipment I use at home:
Disclaimer: I am not a professional strength trainer. I do work with one at a gym, but what I share here is from experience. It is always best to consult your doctor and a strength trainer before beginning an exercise program.