Stay Sexy ~ Good to the Bone!
If you’re not a baby boomer like me, you might not worry about your bones, but I do, and you should, too. Why worry? Age, for one thing. All of us – women, especially – begin to lose at least a little bone mass in mid life, and the loss tends to speed up after menopause. If genetics are not on your side (and they’re definitely not, for me), that’s another big reason. So I worry.
I worry (and my healthcare team worried) so much that four years ago I had a bone density scan, and was diagnosed with osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. That scared me. The form letter that announced this diagnosis stated I should take calcium, and how much, and that I should engage in “weight bearing” exercises to attempt to prevent further loss.
But how much weight, and which muscles, and what drills? I was clueless. So I requested and received a referral to physical therapy, where I worked with a therapist specially trained in osteoporosis prevention. It turns out the most crucial muscles to engage are the ones connected to the bones that are most vulnerable to loss of mass and fractures: hips, spine (including neck), shoulders, and wrists. She led me in developing a fifteen minute routine to work these muscle masses, and I added it to the mix of my workouts.
Fast forward four years: this spring, hubs and I have scheduled what we’re calling the hundred-thousand-mile checkup, touching base with all our providers to get checked out before embarking on our full-time motorhome adventure in mid July. Getting another bone scan was part of the battery of tests.
I am thrilled to report to you that I am now good to the bone – my bones are normal! Does that mean I can relax? No, it means the opposite – what I’m doing is working, and I need to keep doing it. For the rest of my life.
Rather than try to talk you through the exercises I’m doing, I thought I’d give you a link to one of them. This YouTube VIDEO has three exercises – two for the hips, and one for the pelvis, hips and spine, which is one of the ones I’ve been doing. As with any new routine, be sure to check with a healthcare provider before embarking on a change.
So here’s hoping I can stay vibrant, healthy, sexy and excited, with strong bones to carry me through our adventures. I’d love to answer questions about what’s been working for me. Meanwhile, have fun, and Stay Sexy!