Self Care Sunday ~ Osteopenia Treatment

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It’s been two weeks since I received my Osteopenia Diagnosis and found out I have to change the way I live to prevent progression to Osteoporosis. It’s important to note I am not a candidate for any of medications normally prescribed for Osteopenia that help build Bone Density. Therefore, I have to do it the natural way which is a lot more commitment and work for me.

The below meme reflects the simplified treatment plan the doctor gave me. I was advised to take Calcium with Vitamin D3 twice a day and to do weight bearing exercise with resistance bands. She advised me to avoid free weights until my bones are stronger and should not join a gym because of the COVID pandemic.  Therefore, my workout plan/routine should home based. It should be something I can do anywhere to make it easier for me to fit it in.
osteopenia

I originally thought I would hire a personal trainer to help me develop a plan. However, I spent most of last weekend researching exercises and recommendations for post menopausal women over 50 for Osteopenia. I quickly realized I don’t need a personal trainer and I don’t need a gym. I found everything I need on the internet and especially on Youtube. I especially love Bob and Brad, two Physical Therapists. Their channel is great. I learned from them my exercise plan focus needs to be four pronged: Weight Bearing, Resistance, Posture and Balance. Weight Bearing and Resistance to build strong denser bones as well as build muscle around the bones for stabilization. Posture to prevent the round spine. Posture will also help with headaches. Finally, Balance is essential towards preventing trips and falls. Here’s one of their videos that is honestly good for just about anyone.

I am doing a phased approach. Remember, I am already a distance walker. So I normally walk three to five miles a few times a week and I shoot for 10,000 steps each day. The Weight Bearing, Resistance, Posture and Balance exercises I started last week are below. I am doing one set of each for the first few weeks and then I will add a second set for a few weeks. After I add the second set, I will increase resistance and weight.

  • 25 Squats – can use a chair for support. (Build strong legs and back)
  • Standing on one foot – 30 seconds each foot, can use a chair for support. (Build strong ankles for balance)
  • Side Steps – It’s described in Bob & Brad’s video.  I am doing it for two minutes throughout the day. (It’s very effective in building side legs, foot and ankle bones and muscles)
  • Neck stretch – 10 times, push the chin back in alignment with the neck. (Posture)
  • Doorway Stretch – 5 times for 10 seconds each.  Arms at a doorway and lean it. See the video.  (Posture)
  • Wall Push-Ups –15 to 20 each each day to start. (Upper body strength and Posture)

Since I am teleworking full time, I work these in throughout my day as I work. I found out last week I probably won’t be required to be in the office until sometime in 2021. They even told me I may be able to stay a 100% remote employee and just occasionally travel to DC instead of having a NJ based office. I should be able to maintain this plan going forward. I will say I noticed I was tire this week. I guess from the additional exercise every day plus the increased Calcium and Vitamin D3.
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