If you are a baby boomer woman–and I hope you are, because this site has been created for you–you are well aware of the issues regarding bone density as we get older.
About five years ago, I had my first bone-density test. The results revealed osteopenia in my spine, although my hips were fine. The doctor I was seeing at the time prescribed Boniva, endorsed by Sally Field. After reading about the drug, I decided that it didn’t sound like something I wanted to take. It’s tough on the esophagus, the stomach, and the bones of the jaw…and I’m simply not a big fan of taking meds in the first place.
I decided that I would continue taking calcium supplements and boost my time in the gym. If my bones continued to weaken, I would agree to go on medication. Since bone-density tests are usually recommended once every two years, that’s how long I gave myself to try to change things on my own.
My regimen was as follows:
• 1000-1500 mg of food-based calcium every day
• Two weight-training sessions with a personal trainer per week
• Two spin classes per week
• Short walks (hills included) three to five times a week
In 2008, I had my second test. It indicated that everything was within acceptable ranges and I no longer fell into the osteopenia category. Not only didn’t my bones get any worse, they became stronger.
Since then, I added one more spin class to my workout routine. I’m not doing quite as much walking as I used to do, but I figure five days a week in the gym is pretty darn good.
Last week, I had a third test, and lo and behold–my bone density has increased even more. I know it seems weird to get excited about improving my bone mass, but this news delights me. This is the only body I have, and I plan to keep it in the best possible shape for as long as I can. If I can manage to do that without taking medication, better still.