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Exercise, Bone Health, and the Athlete
by Ryan Polly
As an athlete, I push my body to its limits. In any one week, I am swimming, biking, running, and doing strength training. I usually put in 10+ hours of exercise a week on top of the demands of working and raising children. It can be exhausting, but I love it nonetheless. A few months ago, I had a bone density test. Something my doctor recommended since I have Hypoparathyroidism. I found out that my bones have had some changes due to the hypopara, but one thing I found to be quite shocking was that I actually have some small osteoporosis signs in my wrists! How on earth do I have those changes in my forearms? My doctor reminded me that, despite my athleticism, these changes can and do happen. She said that it is possible that my wrists are showing the changes because they don’t get the same level of exercise as the rest of me. So she suggested that I ensure I’m getting adequate calcium and vitamin D (something that I have to do for hypopara, but a reminder anyway) and to increase the strength exercise that puts resistance on my wrists (like pushups, oh joy!) I share this because it is something I had never thought of. I’m in my mid-30s, and here I have some early signs of osteoporosis in my wrists! I am just so glad I found out early so that I can take on some preventative measures for osteoporosis, that way I don’t end up being surprised with a wrist fracture in a few years. I’m sharing this with you only because I want to highlight the importance of having calcium in our diets…not just for people with a medical condition who require it but for all people. We all need to ensure our calcium levels are optimized to reduce the risk of things like osteoporosis. While osteoporosis impacts women more greatly, men are not immune. The best thing we can do is actively work on prevention. Take your calcium AND exercise regularly. The calcium is the easy part. Cal-EZ truly makes it simple to add calcium into your diet. Exercise isn’t as easy. I know, I used to be sedentary and sick! But, if you start off slowly, you can build your body’s tolerance to exercise and you may even find that you enjoy it. Do your body a favor, go out for a walk today and take some calcium. Your bones will be happy! Disclosure: Cal-EZ is supporting me financially through an athletic sponsorship; however, I was taking Cal-EZ prior to receiving the sponsorship because it works! We are is interested in better understanding the calcium needs in athletes. Participate in our brief (5 min.) online survey and we'll send you a complimentary sample of Cal-EZ.