I’m a former dancer; former actress; lifelong exercise enthusiast and newbie gardening fanatic. I was briefly a personal trainer. Although I received my ACE Fitness certification and followed through with another two years of advanced courses at Marymount College (studying kinesiology, nutrition, anatomy, Senior fitness, Neonatal fitness, etc.), that was several years ago. I have not worked as a personal trainer since 2004. So I don’t consider myself to be an expert by any means. But I think I do know enough to know when something is bogus and when something really works.
In June 2009, I was diagnosed with fairly advanced osteoporosis, probably a result of an almost 15-year eating disorder combined with an avoidance of resistance training (despite the fact that I was a personal trainer). My own fitness routine was comprised primarily of long-distance running (which studies now suggest may be detrimental to bone health… although other studies suggest runners may naturally have thinner bones to begin with, and their low BMD may not necessarily be indicative of a high fracture risk. All fingers and toes crossed here.)
After my diagnosis, I had a pity party, then I decided to kick some osteoporotic a**. I enrolled in the second round of the Yoga vs. Osteoporosis study being conducted by Columbia University, and after only 10 months of daily yoga, as of June 7, 2010 I had significant gains in BMD in every single test site, even going from osteoporosis to osteopenia in my spine and right hip. My follow up DEXA in 2011 showed a big loss. Rats. I’ve just entered the first year of menopause and think that could be a big contributor. Well, that and my lousy diet in 2010-2011. I’m back to eating alkaline, have added strontium citrate into the mix, and am now doing a lot of walking with a weight vest, doing free weights, and still doing the yoga. I hope you’ll keep visiting while I’m making the journey back to “normal” BMD. Or at least osteopenia again.
I am not a health professional. Nothing on this website should be taken as “gospel.” Many of the exercises I talk about on this blog are not things I would necessarily recommend for an older, more frail person — someone who falls into the “category” we normally think of as having osteoporosis. For example, posts where I talk about jumping rope or some of the more advanced balance exercises — those things are not for someone who previously led a very sedentary lifestyle. Rather, those posts are aimed at people like myself: younger, more physically active women who were gobsmacked by finding out they have bone density issues. My approach tends to be more aggressive because (a) I have never fractured; and (b) I was already engaged in a fairly rigorous fitness regime, so even though it may be cavalier, I’ll be more cautious with myself if and when I ever do fracture. [Here's hoping that day never comes, but if it does, you can all point and say "I told you so."]
Don’t worry. If you are older or more frail (or know someone who is), you can still find information on this blog that would be of use.The BEST (Bone Estrogen Strength Training) Program was designed for women like you (and me). You’ll also find very helpful information on diet, supplementation, medical advances, simple balance exercises, modified yoga poses — a cornucopia of challenges for your bones.
Regardless of your age or physical fitness status, you should always consult with your doctor before attempting anything you read/see here. I welcome any and all comments on this blog, as long as people play nice.