I'm 58 years old.
I make no bones about wanting to stay fit as I age -
My determination is bone-deep.
Give me a challenge and I have to try to meet it.
When I was 50, I had my first bone scan.
It revealed that my bones were not as strong as they should be.
The doctor said it was probably because I am a petite woman
and it is common to have less bone mass than larger women.
I wasn't very concerned.
We increased by vitamin D to normal levels.
I started jogging.
A repeated bone scan a 52 showed a slight improvement.
However, despite walking miles daily with my dogs and keeping active,
bone density scans at age 54 and 56 revealed more and more
bone density loss to the point of showing slight osteoporosis in
sections of my spine.
I knew in my bones that I needed to do more.
I spent hours and hours online -
boning up on osteoporosis.
(I am not a lazy-bones).
I knew I didn't want to take medication to build up my bones.
This is what I found:
The bare bones of the matter is simple.
Weight training makes your muscles AND BONES stronger.
For two years, I have been going to the gym 4 or 5 times per week,
lifting weights for about 30 minutes each time.
When I began, I couldn't lift much weight at all, but over time I
was able to lift more and more. Each day, I would concentrate on
different muscle groups.
I have also been active in other ways.
I still walk the dogs.
I play pickle ball.
I play racquetball.
I do heavy yard work.
I have changed my diet too.
I eat calcium-rich foods.
I limit my salt intake because when your body eliminates
excess salt from your body, calcium is also eliminated.
I take vitamin D and magnesium supplements daily.
I had another bone scan done last month.
I got a message from my doctor when the results came in.
"Great news on your bone density. It is significantly improved from your previous test.
No osteoporosis. Both hip and spine have improved.
Keep exercising and maintain your Vitamin D supplementation."
In just two years,
I have increased the bone density in my lumbar spine by 4.5%
and increased the bone density in my hip by 11.1%.
It feels so good to see my efforts rewarded!
And the change is not limited to my bones.
The increase in muscle has enabled me to eat more
without gaining weight.
My clothes fit and look better.
(I wore a bikini for the first time in many years.)
The serotonin released when I exercise has made my
life better in so many ways too!
And for all of you out there that are still young and figure this
is not something that applies to you - you're wrong.
The more you build your bones while you're young,
the better off you will be after menopause when you
start losing bone mass faster. You will have more bone mass
to begin with.
Just as it's never too early to start strengthening your bones,
it's also never too late!
"To succeed in life you need 3 things:
a funny bone.