Workouts Reverse Effects Of Osteopenia

Brief once-a-week exercise program negates fracture-causing bone loss.

Peggy Tennant at OsteoStrong

Peggy Tennant

Whether you’re a Sunday morning regular, a casual visitor or someone dropping by for the first time, you will always be greeted by a smiling well-wisher offering a warm welcome at Countryside Christian Church in Clearwater.

Peggy Tennant makes sure of that.

Peggy, 68, is the leader of Countryside Christian’s First Impressions Welcome Team, a group of 100 volunteers who help visitors navigate their way through the church’s vast 2,500-seat sanctuary. It’s one of several jobs Peggy carries out at the church.

“I work about 10 or 15 hours a week there,” Peggy explains. “I’ve been doing that ever since I lost my job as the executive assistant to the president of the Florida division of what used to be Bright House Networks.

“I worked there for 19 years and I loved the job, loved the people. But when Bright House became Spectrum, the new bosses made changes, and I was one of them. I look back now, though, and say, That’s OK, because I started working for the church six weeks later.”

When she’s not working, Peggy likes to do “just about anything outdoors.” She especially likes going for longs walks and bike rides. She also participates in a rowing class. She has to be careful to not overdo it, though, because she has osteopenia.

Found primarily in postmenopausal women, osteopenia is the precursor to osteoporosis. With both conditions, bone growth fails to keep pace with natural bone degeneration to the point where bone mineral density becomes dangerously low.

According to federal data, about 54 million Americans suffer from osteopenia, osteoporosis or low bone mass, all of which can affect the bones in the spine and cause people to lose height or develop a stooped posture.

And it’s not just women affected by these conditions. While statistics show that one in two women will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture, studies also show that one in four men will deal with a similar affliction.

Because it can go undetected until a fracture occurs, osteoporosis is considered a silent disease. It can be treated with medications, and Peggy is among those who took that treatment route after she was diagnosed 15 years ago.

“I went on Actonel®,” she reveals. “Then I started having all these terrible side effects. My joints ached, especially at night, and it felt as if something was growing out of my bones. I hurt so bad sometimes I couldn’t even get out of the car without using my arms.”

Following the experience with Actonel, doctors recommended that Peggy try other medications. She opted instead to continue a weight-training program she’d begun and hope for the best. Then, about five years ago, she discovered OsteoStrong.

Inventive Program

OsteoStrong is a revolutionary program that has helped more than 25,000 people reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis and osteopenia through the use of specialized biomechanical equipment that is used once a week for about 15 minutes.

The equipment allows users to perform resistance-based pushing and pulling exercises with their arms and legs. During these exercises, pressure of up to 12 times the user’s body weight can be safely applied.

“The difference between our equipment and the equipment used at a traditional gym is that our equipment does not involve a counter force,” states Mark Brady, president of OsteoStrong in South Pasadena.

“Because there’s no force pushing against you, you create the force you’re comfortable with, and you’re in control of it at all times. For example, on our lower body and leg machine, I’ve had women in their 80s who weigh 100 pounds exert forces in excess of 1,000 pounds.

“For a 100-pound person to develop new bone working out on traditional equipment, they would need to create a resistance of over 400 pounds. That simply can’t be done by 99 percent of all people in a gym environment because it involves weights they couldn’t physically move. Or if they could move them, they’d be at high risk of injury.”

To understand the difference in the two formats, Mark invites people to come in and try the OsteoStrong equipment, noting that his facility offers a free orientation session that will allow them to learn more about the science behind the program.

“This is an amazing concept that is the culmination of 12 years of research that looked into the body’s adaptive response to growing bone and muscle structure and improving the density of the bones we have,” Mark says.

“As a result of that research, it is now a known medical fact that when you put certain forces on the bones, the body responds by growing new bone tissue. That’s what OsteoStrong does, and the results of these short sessions are absolutely amazing.”

“The fact that I drive 20 miles one way just to get there tells you how much I believe in the OsteoStrong program.” – Peggy

According to Mark, studies have found that OsteoStrong improves bone density 7 to 14 percent per year. In addition, people will increase their strength by an average of 73 percent over their first year at OsteoStrong.

Mark also points out that similar studies show that doing an OsteoStrong session more than once a week does not promote additional benefit. As a result, workouts are both impactful and time efficient.

Noting that osteoporosis is not a disorder that is exclusive to any age group or gender, Mark encourages people of all ages to accept his invitation to try
the equipment.

“Osteoporosis is not something that only happens to old people,” he explains. “As a result, we have clients from young to old. And men are not immune. When men start losing their testosterone, their bone loss becomes
more rapid.

“At OsteoStrong, we also offer people an opportunity to learn more about osteopenia and osteoporosis and why the OsteoStrong program is so effective at fighting it.”

I’m a Believer

Peggy learned about OsteoStrong while looking for an alternative to the medications her doctors recommended for her osteopenia. She immediately joined the program and — despite needing to drive 20 miles to get there — has been a weekly visitor ever since.

“The fact that I drive 20 miles one way just to get there tells you how much I believe in the OsteoStrong program,” Peggy says. “I thought from the very beginning that this program just makes good sense because it’s all weight-bearing and resistance exercises, and that’s what you need to fight osteoporosis. The workouts are also great for strengthening and balance.”

Peggy notes that the proof of her OsteoStrong success is in the pictures – meaning her DEXA scan, an imaging test that measures bone density.

“The best thing is my DEXA scans show that it’s helping keep my osteopenia steady,” Peggy raves. “When I showed the first DEXA scan that I took after starting OsteoStrong to my gynecologist, she said, This is great; just keep doing what you’re doing.

“I’m due for another DEXA scan in 2022, and I’m eager to see what the results look like. I’m obviously hoping it shows that my bone density is improving. No matter what, though, I’ll keep going to OsteoStrong because I believe in it and I strongly recommend it.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
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