This post is not sponsored. I received an introductory session at OsteoStrong in exchange for my honest opinions.
Today I’d like to talk about a medical condition that is personal to me and introduce you to a Southern-born business that is helping people of all ages avoid that condition and find greater success with their fitness goals!
My mom was diagnosed with osteopenia (a milder version of osteoporosis) when she was only 45 years old. Since then, she has flip-flopped between a full-blown osteoporosis diagnosis and osteopenia as she has tried different medications to increase her bone density. (Please note that all of this flip-flopping and medication-trying has occurred all within the span of one year, since she is clearly not a day over 46.)
My mom and I recently got to check out the Raleigh location of OsteoStrong, a business that offers unique equipment designed to help people build bone density. For many people in their 20s, like me, osteoporosis may seem like a far-off possibility that isn’t something to worry about at the moment. But since our bone density peaks around age 20 and then starts to naturally decline, this is most definitely an issue with which we should be concerned, especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis (and especially early-onset osteoporosis!) like I do. The cool thing about OsteoStrong is that it can also be helpful for athletes of all ages who have plateaued with their fitness goals. More about that in just a bit! First, I want to talk a little about osteoporosis, then introduce you to OsteoStrong.
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bones experience decreased density and quality. It can be very serious, since decreased bone density can ultimately lead to broken bones. Ever noticed that many people end up breaking hips as they get older? That’s because their bone density has decreased to the point that their bones aren’t able to hold up under pressure. When you have osteoporosis, fractures don’t even necessarily happen from a major fall. Sneezing, reaching, and twisting are enough to cause compression fractures in your spine.
Bone density peaks around age 20 and then naturally starts to decline. People over the age of 50 are most at risk for osteoporosis, but the condition can occur earlier depending on how quickly you lose bone density and how dense your bone structures were to begin with. One in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 are at risk for osteoporotic fractures. That’s a lot of people!!
OsteoStrong was founded in Tennessee in 2011 and utilizes the principles of osteogenic loading to help people increase their bone density and skeletal strength. Osteogenic loading in a nutshell: When your body bears 4.2x or more the weight of your own body, you begin to develop new bone tissue. By bearing enough weight, you can increase your bone density.
The setup of OsteoStrong locations looks like a gym, with different machines that help you target different skeletal areas. However, OsteoStrong is noticeably different from a gym in that you don’t sweat, don’t need to wear workout clothes, and it only takes about 10 minutes. SIGN ME UP for no sweat and only a few minutes of my time!
When I visited OsteoStrong, I was actually surprised to see that the other people utilizing the machines weren’t all senior citizens! I learned that athletes of all ages utilize OsteoStrong as a way to build greater muscle mass. As owner Alex explained to me, your body will only produce as much muscle as your bone structure can support. Makes sense! By increasing your bone density, you also increase the amount of muscle you can build. Suddenly, my own lack of muscle, when considered alongside my family history of osteoporosis, makes a lot more sense! Alex explained that many athletes who have hit plateaus in their training are often not able to move further until they increase their bone density. OsteoStrong is a great solution for them.
Other benefits of OsteoStrong’s system include improved posture, improved balance, and less joint and back pain. OsteoStrong can also help people with Type II diabetes reduce their blood glucose!
When you visit OsteoStrong, your first task is to stand on a platform that vibrates. This helps with balance and prepares your skeletal system for the machines.
Next, you visit each of OsteoStrong’s four machines, which are designed to target different areas of your skeletal system. Once you are in the correct position for optimal load-bearing, you push on the machine as hard as you can for 10 seconds. The goal is to achieve 4.2x your weight in load-bearing. Ten seconds is all it takes to start the process of bone-forming in your body. This process, once activated, will continue for about 7-10 days!
If you’re like me, you are probably skeptical about your ability to bear 4.2x your body weight. It’s actually pretty difficult or impossible to do on traditional gym equipment. The neat thing about Osteostrong’s machines is that they purposefully put you in positions where you are at your strongest weight-bearing capacity. Your body is able to bear more weight than you think if placed in the optimal position on the machine.
After you are done on each of the machines, you have the opportunity to do a hydromassage. This isn’t related to bone density but is simply a nice way to relax before heading back out into your busy day. A nice perk!
Visiting OsteoStrong was really helpful for me as a way to learn more about bone density and the things I can be doing now to ensure I am healthier down the road. And my mom was certainly excited about the possibility of treating her osteoporosis with something other than medications and time-consuming weight lifting at the gym!
At the Raleigh OsteoStrong location, membership is $129 per month, and visits are recommended every 7-10 days. I thought this was very affordable given the convenience of being able to build bone density in less than 10 minutes with no special clothing (or sweating!) required. Just the weekly massage alone is definitely worth $129/month!
If you are interested in checking out OsteoStrong, I encourage you to visit their website to find a location near you. Please also spread the word to your family members, especially those older individuals who may not know how to access blog posts but could really benefit from the services OsteoStrong offers! And, if you’re in the Raleigh/Durham area, send me a message and I can hook you up with OsteoStrong Raleigh!