A prospective client, 60 year old female has osteoporosis, have been diagnosed osteopenic in 2005 and osteoporosis last month. She also had a body composition done and she was told she very little visceral fat. She’s never taken hormone therapy and is now seeing a clinical nutritionist certified by the IAACN (International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists). She follows a paleo-style eating regimen and, as the result of this ‘diet’ she’s lost approximately 30 pounds. She’s very thin, weighing approximately 93 pounds and she’s 5′ 3 1/2″ tall. Her blood work looks great and she feels really good. She knows she needs to gain muscle mass which will help with her bone density. Besides the osteoporosis, another of her primary concerns is the fact that’s always had a tummy that juts out, even now being as small as she is it still protrudes. She’s talked with a variety of professionals and some people tell her she should do Pilates to help with her core (this has always been a weak area of her body); others tell her to do high intensity/low velocity training (think Arthur Jones’ method) which will help her gain strength and, resultingly, increase her metabolic rate. She also needs some work to improve her balance, posture and functional fitness level. She just wants to know which way to go and I’ve offered a variety of suggestions as well. She’s still looking for more information. Any hints or tips you may offer will be greatly appreciated!!
I’m glad she is seeing a clinical nutritionist since this could be a case of disordered eating. I would not recommend pilates unless it is with someone who is trained to work with people with low bone density. Many pilates postures are not recommended for those with low bone density. I would recommend a combination of weight training, balance work and weight bearing exercises like walking (so it sounds like you’ve got it covered). Unfortunately it is difficult to increase bone density at that age. The main focus of a program should be to maintain or improve function, improve balance to prevent falls and increase upper body strength to help soften the landing in the case of falls. I don’t think she needs to increase her metabolic rate. As for the belly jutting out, is this belly fat or poor posture (an anterior pelvic tilt can look like a belly jutting out)?