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Your bones will thank you.

"If you don't say anything about your bones to your doctor, they won't always ask."

Lily Dawson, PT, DPT, Grand Rapids OB/GYN, says that with bone health being vastly important, it's essential to talk to your primary care doctor.

"Advocate for yourself! If you're having perimenopausal signs, bring up your bones at your appointments. You don't have to suffer through it," said Dawson. "Also, when you go in for a mammogram, ask about your bones. Remember: Boobs and bones!"

The need for a bone scan, Dawson notes, depends on a variety of considerations like hereditary factors, ethnicity, having a history of osteoporosis, age, and more. Prior to going through menopause, Dawson encourages women to seek out a baseline DEXA scan, which allows you to know and follow your bone density.

"When the integrity of our bones is compromised, the risk of falling increases as does the time it takes to heal," said Dawson, who stresses that prevention is critical. "Having enough calcium and getting nutrients from real food is huge, as well as maintaining an active lifestyle."

Keep moving by choosing something you love to do! Dawson recommends weight-bearing exercises such as walking, yoga, and ballet—in addition to squats and lunges, as tolerated by an individual's joint health.

Juanita Castorena, Group Fitness Manager, MVP Sports Clubs, agrees exercise is a great way to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.

"Working on building muscle and better movement patterns can help you have better balance, which is crucial as we age," said Castorena, noting additional side effects of being active include increased confidence and a connection to a like-minded community.

MVP offers several fitness options for women, including one-on-one personal training, small group training, group fitness classes and more. Ideal for bone health is the Recovery Yoga class, a slower-paced class focused on restoring the body to a state of balance.

"As we age, our metabolism slows down and we tend to lose muscle," said Castorena. "The more muscle we build, the more calories we burn while resting and going about our normal day to day activities."

Attila Mosolygo, Director, Grand Rapids Ballet School, recommends adult ballet classes as an ideal way for women to stay active.

"Ballet class is athletic and physically demanding just like any sport or workout done in a gym," said Mosolygo. "Dancers are required to learn and remember different combinations and sequences of steps in a variety of patterns, which will challenge them."

Beginner, advanced beginner and intermediate-level adult classes with live accompaniment are offered throughout the week—in addition to a free Moving with Parkinson's class for individuals with PD, which helps with coordination, flexibility, fluidity of movement, and balance.

"Older women with dance experience in their youth can reconnect with their passion for dance, while women who always wanted to 'be a ballerina,' but were not given the opportunity to study, can now fulfill that dream," said Mosolygo.

"You're never too old to start ballet and learn something new!"

Learn more about bone health at: Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.org | National Institutes of Health bones.nih.gov | National Osteoporosis Foundation nof.org

Alternatives to the Traditional

Though you may not have heard of Intravenous Nutrient Therapy, it's gaining in popularity among those looking for an efficient way to get vitamins, amino acids and minerals into the body quickly.

Born Clinic, a family practice that's grown to be known as an internationally respected organization in preventive medicine, offers the innovative treatment.

According to the clinic, nutritional deficiencies are common in the average American diet. The treatment is highly effective in patients undergoing operations such as plastic, bariatric and orthopedic surgeries, who report a more rapid recovery. The IV method bypasses the liver's first-pass metabolism, making it more efficient than oral supplementation.

Learn about additional services offered, including acupuncture, food sensitivity testing, ultraviolet blood irradiation and more, at bornclinic.com.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.

Photo courtesy of MVP Athletic Club. 

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