Women! Osteoporosis and Weight Vests
If you are not using your weight vest,consider letting your mom, wife or girlfriend use it! Below I will discuss a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I have lectured dozens of times on this topic. If you have questions, please contact me.
Osteoporosis is bone loss occurring in post menopausal women. It can be beginning, middle or end stage. Seen on X-ray, that X-ray finding is called Osteopenia. Osteopenia is not a diagnosis of early stage osteoporosis- as many doctors will mistakenly tell you. More than that- by the time it is visible on X-ray, you have lost 20% or more of your bone density!
Who gets it? Mostly Caucasian women of slight build. But, others are susceptible too! Even men! How bad can it actually get? Well, my grandmother died from it? just 2 years ago.
There are many causes. Genetics is a huge factor, so if your mother or grandmother has been diagnosed, READ ON! Caffeine, Carbonation, Smoking, Alcohol, High Protein Diets!
There are many Treatments. There is prescription medication that increases calcium absorption. Be careful: once you go on it, you need to have your liver enzymes checked every 6 months. Hmmmm.... There is also Estrogen Replacement Therapy. The side effects of taking the estrogen that is taken from the urine of pregnant mares are so numerous that this has become a very controversial treatment.
There is also calcium supplementation. Don?t be fooled here either: Tums is not absorbable calcium. Neither is Oyster Shell Calcium. Calcium Citrate is moderately absorbable. Little known fact: Calcium in the chemical form: Microcrystaline Hydroxiappetite is the most absorbable. Get it at the health food store!
What is really effective? Prevention! They say to do weight bearing exercise. Then ?they? recommend walking. You stimulate osteocyte (bone cell) formation by slowly increasing the demand on bone over time. Most women gain (and grudgingly) about 1 lb. per year. Unfortunately, this is not enough to offset the boneloss that will occur in a women?s middle to later years. In my estimation, walking is not a solution at all. It might make people think they are at least doing something, but that?s about it. Here are some ideas:
Training with weights. This extra load bearing will increase the formation of bone. It has got to be started early, though. And keep in mind this: unlike sleep, you do get to save up bone density! I have trained with weights for 25 years; my bone density is about 15% higher than an average woman my age. If I lose 20%, I still have 95% of what?s ?normal?. I am a very long way from a fracturable state! Say I had walked for 25 years; my bone density would be average for a woman of my age. If I?d lose 20%, I?d have 80% of what?s normal. I would be a whole lot closer to a fracturable state than if I had trained with weights. So why are so few women training with weights? My advice: get a trainer, and do it! Prevent those hip fractures while you are young.
The spine is often fractured and we don?t even know it! It is often disguised and misdiagnosed as simple back pain! As the individual trabeculae (bone cells) give way, and mom starts to lose height, it is largely invisible! What can you do with her? Well, be very careful. Focus on the things that will not load the spine, because otherwise you put her at risk. Don?t just throw her in there. Get her real help.
What about us? The younger women who have not been diagnosed with this horrible disease? Those of us who see it in our family history would have to be crazy not to make the changes listed above. Once it happens, it?s really too late! What kind of training can we do? 3 things:
1. Start young. Start in your teens, 20?s or 30?s.
2. Train with weights. Learn how to do it and train hard.
3. Get a weight vest. There is no safe substitute that I am aware of. Start out light, and build up. Start with 10 lbs. Walk/work up to for 15 minutes twice a week. Add 5 lbs after a month. Add another 5 lbs. after another month. At 20-30 lbs twice a week for 20 minutes, you should be getting a great cardio workout as well as saving yourself from this terrible disease. By the way- this is not sufficient training for CPAT weight vest testing... just for osteoporosis prevention!
Warning: I would not suggest that someone who has already been diagnosed with Osteoporosis (or ?Osteopenia?) try this.
Dr. Jen Milus, DC
Author of Fire it Up CPAT Training System
This message was edited by DrJen on 1-17-06 @ 11:30 AM
Not using your weight vest?
Women! Osteoporosis and Weight Vests
Sorry they can't have it....Im USING it! DAILY!