No, I am not commanding my dog to remove his possessions from the couch. I am going to discuss YOUR bones, which may be sitting on the couch right now, while you read this blog.
Bones are a bit like teeth. No one notices them until they start to make trouble.
What kind of trouble?
You want to prevent that.
The Dexa bone scan will help you to see what’s going on under your skin.
What’s a Dexa scan?
A Dexa scan measures bone density, a good estimate of where you stand…in fact, whether you are standing at all. Unstable bones cause falls. Osteoporosis means your bones have become thin, brittle and weak. The word ‘porous’ comes to mind. Falls are the leading cause of death for people over 65. Yes, every second of every day, someone about your age crashes to the floor and can’t get up. Fractures are one of the serious consequences of falls.
Oh, not me! I just have osteopenia. They tell me my bones are thinning, but not to worry. I don’t have osteoporosis.
I felt the same until I had my first bone scan in 2015. Gads! The scan revealed I had thinning of the bones! What should I do? Is there a pill I should take? Should I rest my bones?
Resting your bones might be the reason you have thinning of the bones. Here are a few reasons why your bones may be quietly losing mass.
Aging and menopause are top of the list for bone loss. Well, I can’t change those, right?
You can change some things – if you want to.
First sample of womanhood: You are a person who strives to remain ultra-thin at the age of 65, so you probably have some bone loss. You have had a cigarette and a Skinny Girl cocktail every evening for dinner, and maybe a couple of olives for nutrition after you quit smoking. Your thighs are the size of my upper arms. This is a recipe for bone disaster, even though your yoga pants still look good.
Second sample of womanhood: You are fat. You wouldn’t be caught dead in yoga pants. When it comes to bone mass, though, fat is where it’s at! Weightiness keeps bones strong. Which leads us to….
I bear enough weight just carrying in the groceries every week. Isn’t that enough?
No. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises force your body to work against gravity, and once a week won’t cut it.
So what? I don’t like to exercise and I don’t like the word ‘force’.
Well, the other choice is to be ‘forced’ into a wheelchair from fractures in future.
Weight-bearing exercises include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights, also strengthen bones.
LIFTING WEIGHTS? You’re kidding!
All gyms have weight machines. They are not intimidating, and very easy to use. Weight machines balance the weights so that injuring yourself lifting them will not happen. You can set the machine for very light weights, and gradually up the ante from there. This is what resistance training is all about. You train your body to get stronger and lift more weight.
Lifting weights made my bones strong and gave me muscle. Muscle protects the body, so you don’t just fall with a clatter of bones and break something. Build bone and muscle.
Remember the ‘C’ Word.
It’s called ‘commitment’. Stay with an exercise plan and reap the rewards. You won’t be sorry you did.