Finally bit the strength training bullet

Exercise -  - 7

When I saw my endo a few months ago she said looking at my lab work, “If you fell on your wrist you’d likely break it.” A not so subtle way to say my bone density stinks in my upper body. Sure, I walk like a demon which helps my lower half, but I still have osteopenia, the beginning of osteoporosis. “I can start you on a medicine you’d take for five years,” my endo said still talking. (Was she really still talking? All I could think of was I was going to break all my bones if I fell down.)

“I don’t want to be on another medicine (that would mean two insulins, levothyroxine for my hypothyroidism, calcium and Vitamin D and a bone density med). Then she asked, “Have you ever worked with a trainer?” The answer is no but the thought got planted in my head.

I’ve long known I should be doing some kind of resistance training. Maybe now, I thought, I have to bite the bullet. I could walk a dozen miles on any day just for the fun of it, but squats, c’mon, does anyone like doing that?!

Yet, luckily for me at this same time I was watching a series of videos on functional fitness. That’s a type of fitness training that will keep you strong and agile as you age. You’ll be able to pick up a pencil or a thirty pound box without gasping and throwing out your back. Better yet you’ll be able to climb the subway stairs and make it back to your apartment. But you won’t get a buff body. That sounded just about perfect for me as I’m about to turn 62 and have no desire to have my body buffed.

So now Andrew, my intrepid trainer, and I have turned my apartment into a gym. Andrew is just what I wanted: thoroughly professional, expert in functional fitness, gentle yet firm and he watches me like a hawk to see what my body is doing, which is usually something different than what he just showed me to do. I’ve learned faster isn’t better and resting even between reps is a good thing.

I can’t say I love strength training, but I can say it does’t repel me as it used to. I’ve only been doing this shy of two months, but I do think I’m standing a little straighter and steadier, more solid in my core (yes, I’m picking up the lingo) and stronger overall. Our sessions are an hour twice a week and then I do a one hour session in between on my own.

I expected my blood sugar would either shoot up – as it does if you’re really working hard anerobically, or down, as when you do aerobics. But I can’t yet confirm what it does. I will continue to watch. But I do feel I’m on the way to being more resilient physically, more flexible, better balanced, stronger and more centered. And, the next time I’m about to take a spill which I hear old people do a lot, I’ll have a greater chance to sidestep it.

There’s also of course another benefit. When my husband and I sell this 700 square foot 1 bedroom apartment, we can advertise it as living space, two offices and a gym!

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