“Bone loss! You can’t be serious?”
That was my reaction when my doctor made the diagnosis of 1% bone loss due to age-related osteoporosis. Although 1% is totally in the normal, acceptable range for a woman my age, yet, considering the amount of repetitive impact exercise I do like running and strength training, I was offended. How could I have any bone loss at all?
What was prescribed? Keep calm, take calcium supplements… and carry on. But, that was too basic for me, because, well, I’m extra. So, here’s the bio-hacks I found to get me from bone health point A to point B more efficiently.
You know that I’m about that pro-aging life. Taking care of myself so that I can actually enjoy getting old, instead of being afraid or denying the inevitable and the natural; but, that takes work.
Oz Garcia, my go-to-guy for pro-aging solutions, is a nutritionist, and the bestselling author of four books, including Redesigning 50: The No-Plastic-Surgery Guide to 21st-Century Age Defiance (HarperCollins); he was my first stop in my quest to maintain bone strength. Garcia’s advice to me was to begin a premium calcium supplement called Osteo-Vi-Min; these are chewable tablets made from a hypoallergenic, vegan formula. Even though I am not vegan, I’ve never been a fan of calcium supplements derived from horse hooves or pig knuckles, which is the base ingredient of a lot of mass-market formulas. However, Johns Hopkins Health says that the “best form of calcium supplement is none” but rather, women over 19 years should get a recommended daily dose of 1000 milligrams of calcium, and for women over 50 years, 1200 milligrams is recommended daily – and this intake should come from a calcium-rich diet. Dude, I don’t know about you, but I cannot guarantee that I can eat that many almonds, dark green leafy veggies or drink enough milk all day, every day. Or can you?
Chewable Osteo-Vi-Min, packed with vitamins C and D3, taken twice a day, is my skeleton’s new best friend.
The Bio Hack
Performance enhancement and recovery gym, OsteoStrong, is the latest in fitness when it comes to improving bone density. Garcia, who is almost 70 years old, still works full time, running multiple marathons yearly; he swears by this restorative regime for his own bone health. At Garcia’s suggestion, I met with Elaine Gonzales, owner of the Manhattan branch of the national chain, OsteoStrong, to chat about the science behind the technique. Elaine, a mother of 3 boys, all under 10 years, besides being a practicing dentist (her dental practice is housed in the same building), runs the gym with her husband, Vincent. The couple invested in the business to help Elaine improve her postpartum bone strength and reverse the toll that being a working dentist had taken on her posture.
How does OsteoStrong work?
It works by stimulating bone metabolism using OsteoStrong’s all load-bearing equipment, a 4-station workout system designed to help users of any age or ability safely move up to 4.2 (or more) times their own body weight. FYI, there’s no way in hell I could ever deadlift or even shove something that weighs 609 pounds, which is 4.2 times my current weight of 145. With this workout system, you don’t feel like you’re lifting something that heavy because the machines are designed to distribute the weight equally throughout the skeletal system, strengthening the bones without bulking up the muscles. Astronauts, who can lose as much as a catastrophic 8% of bone mass on extended missions, like those required on the International Space Station, use this technology on NASA’s campus as part of the re-entry and recovery program.
My fashionista friends, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you this powerhouse workout takes 10 to 15 minutes, done once a week. Stay with me now, you can do this workout circuit with no need to worry about sweating out your hair, make-up, or your workout outfit.
You can watch a video of me doing the whole circuit and get the full science behind the technique from OsteoStrong owner, Elaine Gonzales, and learn of how this next level restorative workout positively impacts bone health here.