ok, first the background:)
Age that I feel: 20
Weight: 150 (up 15 pounds from where I like to be)
Preferred Exercise: Cardio, Dance, and Cardio Dance!
My Feelings about lifting weights: Like eating broccoli.
Why I am lifting weights: Bone Health/strength/posture
So my physical life was fine until a year and a half ago. I was doing a lot of dancing. Some running. Some yoga. Some exercise classes- a few abs classes etc. Weights here and there.I have always felt I should be lifting weights more- I feel that the strength it provides is protection for the cardio I love. But I just never got around to doing it regularly. Then 1.5 years ago my feet started getting sore (plantar fascitis) and I stopped exercising like a good little patient. I gained weight and became an unhappy camper. This time last year, for the first time in my life, my back started to hurt. I spent $2000 last year roaming around between physiotherapists and chiropractors, xrays, ultrasounds, yoga teachers etc. I started lifting weights last fall, taking it into my own hands. I am getting back in shape. Doing aerobics again. My back still isn't what it was but it is getting better.
I finally got in for an MRI of the lumbar spine in December, plus found a new doctor who said it was a no-brainer that I should have a bone density scan. Well, the MRI shows a probable minor compression fracture at T12 and the bone scan came back with a combination of osteopenia and osteoporosis. I have decided against the biophosphenates after doing a fair amount of research- I have decided to go the HRT route for a year or 2 because thing is, it is extremely difficult to build bone once the estrogen is gone. I feel happy with my decision. I feel HRT is safe enough for me in the short term. I hope to get them denser and stronger in the next couple of years and then hopefully I will be in a better position when I come off HRT.
So I really need to make the most of this opportunity and build some big bad-ass BONE! And oh ya, what builds bone is the muscle pulling on it- so building muscle and bone are the same thing. I always ate pretty well but I am making improvements in that area too. But lifting weights in combination with estrogen is really the only way I can see of building some serious bone. Cardio doesn't really build bone- I never knew that.
I have been back at my weights routine for a couple of weeks now and already my back feels better. Forward bends where you curl the upper back are contraindicated for me, but who wants to do that anyway?
So I am hoping to log my progress here. The nice thing about this is that I have concrete bone density numbers that I will be able to compare with a year or two from now. For anyone who is interested in T-scores:
My femoral heads are -1.7 so that is osteopenia
My hips are -0.8 so they are fine
My lumbar spine is -2.6 so that is osteoporosis
It is funny- it ends up I am having to do exactly what I have been wanting to do for years: lift weights. It was like, I knew in my heart (or was it in my bones) that I needed to start strength training seriously.... I felt it in my body- I felt something changing. But who has the time, and compared to cardio, ugg what a drag.. I don't feel that way anymore.
So I really hope this works. I have been doing the same back routine 3 times a week.
2 sets of 12 reps of everything:
Lat Pull-downs: 60#
Seated Cable Row: 40#
Prone Rows: ?#
Seated Posterior Flys:25#
45 degree back extensions with 5# overhead weights-
Seated Chest supported rows: 50#
Cable/rope Face-pulls: 30#
Cable/rope Pull-downs: 40#
Cable/rope Standing rows: 40#
I am into a really nice routine with that combo and actually look forward to it. I am trying to proceed gradually and maintain really good form. The whole thing takes about 30 minutes. And it makes my back feel absolutely fantastic. I feel like the muscles back there just need some exercising and some oxygen and they really don't get that from cardio. It often feels like I've had a massage after doing that routine- it's hard to describe but it really feels great.
I have also been doing prone back extensions etc but I am still toying around with combinations that feel good- I can feel what I need to do, it's like scratching an itch.
I have also been working on arms and legs but that is still a bit all over the place. I have gone back to yoga and step aerobics but I won't be doing any barefoot dancing anytime soon. I have run a bit on the treadmill but depending on the day I can feel it jarring my back a bit so I have stopped running and high impact activities for the time being. I am also trying to use the step mill once a week.
So that's it for me. This has to be a really personal journey for me. I need to do this on my own, you know- it has to come from within. But I still very much welcome any advice or comments that anyone might have and thank you for being here!