A few years ago, aware of menopause creeping ever closer, eager to rob me of bone mass and play all its other little tricks on me, I moved nutrition and exercise higher on my priority list.
The Real Age test revealed what I was missing nutrition-wise. I signed up for every health/hair/exercise/nutrition- related e-newsletter I could find, added vitamins to my morning arsenol, increased colorful, raw fruits and vegetables, watched portion sizes and cut back on fat, salt, sugar and anything processed or unpronounceable.
I was already working out, but I extended my cardio workouts because I have damaged lungs from asthma and one of those heart disease genes (and also the tiniest hope that increased circulation to my scalp would whip my lazy hair follicles back in shape.)
(No luck on that point so far.)
To build up bone mass, I increased the amount of free weight I lifted - gradually so I didn't pull anything and set myself back - popped Tums like candy and increased my Vitamin D.
I did everything on that checklist, but still, following my latest bone density scan, the phone rang...
"Mrs. Shallue, you have slight osteopenia in the top bone of your left hip."
Huh? What? My bones? No way - I've never even broken anything!
"Nothing to worry about - it's very slight."
The nurse went down the "prevent and improve" checklist, but I was already doing everything and have been doing everything for years... even before my last bone density scan which was normal. How the heck did this happen?
The only suggestion she had for me: Increase my Vitamin D. My blood test revealed it was on the low end of normal; I had plenty of wiggle room to double what I was already taking.
So Women out there, listen up... Make sure you're taking your calcium and your Vitamin D. Grab those free weights and build those bones so they'll be strong enough to carry you for a long, long time. If you're over 50 and you haven't already done so, go get a bone density scan and have someone check your Vitamin D levels. And (gulp) say NO to that second third <sigh> okay, that second glass of wine. Or second margarita. Or second scotch and water.
For my part, I've increased my D and decreased my W so that I can still be dancing twenty years from now. I really, really want you to join me on the dance floor.
So get moving!