Libby's Story: Fighting Osteoporosis and Gaining Strength at 65

LIBBY'S STORY

My doctor recommended Lee and enduraLAB to me because at age 65 I have some health issues and osteopenia. Lee and I started working together twice a week, one-on-one in early November of 2014.  I had absolutely zero strength and was very fearful of pushing myself. My goal was to improve my bone density and gain strength and flexibility.

Lee has patiently worked with me, designing programs, inventing new workouts for my needs and gently but positively pushing me forward. Every year I go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for an annual check up. This year the test results were stunning to me and my doctor. All my blood tests were well within the good normal range, my cholesterol dropped 11 points and my resting heart rate has stabilized. The very, very best news was that my bone density has improved - not stayed the same - IMPROVED over just 9 months! My doctor said in all the patients she's treated NONE had ever IMPROVED their bone density. She said it is definitely due to the work Lee and I have done.

I wish I had started down this path much earlier in my life and I'm so grateful to be here now! I'm going to be that 90 year old weight lifting spry, flexible lady at the lake on the paddle board!! And the real bonus is how great I feel. I know that working with Lee is making a huge difference in my life and future and I can't wait to see next year's results!

FROM HER COACH

Libby is one of those clients you dream of having. She has clear goals, works hard and does her homework. If she is going to miss a session, she asks for a workout to do outside the gym...and she does it. It's with this great attitude and commitment to the program that she has seen awesome results. 

When Libby stepped into the LAB we started with simple bodyweight movements to instill proper movement patterns and progress her range of motion and the indoor rower to work her lung capacity. We focused on posterior chain engagement and core strength with a heavy dose of balance and groundwork. Since that time we have steadily progressed to utilize free weights (kettlebells and dumbbells). The clear goals that we have established has allowed me to create a program that is simple and effective...which is a killer combo. 

Getting healthy is a multi-faceted approach though. Not only have we worked on Libby's fitness, but we have spent a lot of time working nutrition and recovery. I am very proud of Libby and her success and look forward to progressing Libby to her goals, wherever that may take us.

Coach Lee on Working With Osteopenia/Osteoporosis

Bone is a living tissue that is constantly broken down and built back up throughout our lifetime. As we age, the rate of creation of new bone slows and can cause a reduction in bone mass if we do nothing to prevent it. At enduraLAB, we understand that nutrition and strength training play a large role in maintaining healthy bone density/mass. 

When working with older clientele with osteopenia or osteoporosis I attack the issue on three fronts; balance, nutrition and strength training. I like to work on a lot of single-leg balance and posture at the beginning because they are skills that anyone can work on wherever they are. I want to make sure our clients have good balance to prevent a fall and possible missed time in the gym.

With nutrition we focus on eating nutrient-dense whole food and work on slowly eliminating processed foods, excess sugar and alcohol. Food is a drug and we utilize it to get the results we desire. By slowly introducing these practices into our clients lifestyles we can create healthy habits that they can continue throughout their life. 

One of the best ways to combat the effects of osteopenia/osteoporosis is to get the client moving. A sedentary lifestyle is the demise of anyone dealing with the condition. While any weight-bearing activity is beneficial, I find strength training to be the most effective.

One note: I often see clients prescribed swimming, cycling or elliptical work to help combat the symptoms of osteopenia/osteoporosis. While these will provide a good cardiovascular workout, the low-impact nature of these exercises do little to improve bone health.

Just as with any client, I first ensure proper movement and range of motion with bodyweight exercises before progressing to weight training. My favorite exercises for clients with osteopenia/osteoporosis are squats, presses, kettlebell swings, rows and loaded carries. Our older clients will also see additional groundwork to ensure they have to strength to get up and down from the seated, prone and supine positions.

Osteopenia and osteoporosis are conditions that should encourage people to get into the gym, eat better and live a more active lifestyle. Libby is living proof of what can happen if they do. 

Are you or someone you know affected by osteopenia or osteoporosis? Contact info@enduralab.com to set up a personal consultation.