Like any top-notch attorney, Christine M. from Santa Cruz, CA, is a pro at multitasking. For instance, you’ll most likely find the 60-year-old pacing jail and courthouse parking lots while doing business in order to get her daily exercise. “When I’m not in court, I spend a lot of time on the phone,” explains Christine, who practices criminal defense. “I have a regimen of walking while I talk, so I'm not sedentary.”
Why is she such an exercise devotee? Christine has been working hard to strengthen her bones ever since her surprising osteoporosis diagnosis two years ago, which she learned about during a physical exam that included a bone mineral density (BMD) test. “I didn’t know enough about bone health to even realize that I should be concerned,” says Christine, noting that her petite frame is a risk factor.
She also wasn’t aware of her family history. “It turns out that my younger sister has osteopenia [low bone density],” says Christine. “If she had shared that information with me, I might have realized I was at risk.”
In an effort to prevent others in her family from getting osteoporosis, Christine has encouraged her 26-year-old daughter to begin protecting her bones. For example, her daughter is now taking vitamin D and calcium supplements. “It’s really important for sisters to talk to sisters and for mothers to talk to daughters about osteoporosis,” says Christine.
Once Christine learned she had osteoporosis, she approached her bone health with laser-like focus. “I tackle osteoporosis like I tackle my work, in terms of saying, ‘So, now I have this diagnosis, what do I do to increase my bone health and not put myself at risk?’ I have made certain that taking care of my bones is part of what I do every day.”
- Put exercise first. “I have increased my overall activity,” says Christine. In addition to her on-the-job walks, she lifts weights and hits the treadmill an hour a day at home.
- Involve your family. “You have to get your family members on your side. Many times I will tell my husband that I can’t do something until I have done the treadmill. I am fortunate that he understands.”
- Be proactive. With guidance from her doctor, Christine takes a prescription medication that works to reduce bone loss and increase bone density. She also takes calcium and vitamin D supplements to improve bone strength, and she stocks her fridge with plenty of calcium-rich veggies.
Christine’s recent bone density test revealed positive changes. “My bones have strengthened, which is great news,” she says, urging others to start working on their bone health. “People can make changes right now. It's not too late.”