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!!
Hey there Cheryl,
I have held an advanced Pilates cert. for quite awhile. Please see below article for contraindications doing ALL exercises while bones are weak. The problem lies with imbalanced exercise programming. Sounds like a good cross training program is in order: Weight bearing as mentioned, perhaps walking. Pilates could be incorporated to increase core strength but there is also corrective fitness that may be appropriate too. Plenty of choices wrt core exercises!
There was no mention of ROM and/or flexibility in this post so I’d also take that into consideration. If there is diminished joint ROM (think ankles, hips) then this MUST be worked on as well as one legged balance and strength work. As far as the belly distention:If she’s ever been this weight I’d find out if she had a belly then…it could be how/where she stores fat.
If this were my client: I’d focus on band work (continuous tension) and light weight training (single arm/leg focus) in controlled positions rather than whole body moves. Add Pilates and whatever else the client might enjoy doing to promote program adherence.