Celia Marcela Casals, Argentina
“I first heard about osteoporosis when my mother suffered a hip fracture at 60 years of age. She then suffered a tragic series of fractures and died as a result of another hip fracture. “At that time I practised no physical activity whatsoever, despite the fact that my genetic background suggested a high risk of osteoporosis. In January 1993, I met Dr. José Zanchetta (shown in photo), the head of the Instituto de Investigaciones Metabolicas in Buenos Aires, for treatment of a parathyroid adenoma. It was then that I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and became aware that I had to take care of my own body and change my lifestyle.
“I am a lawyer and a psychologist but nowadays I only work as the latter, attending to individual cases in my office. I organize myself in order to devote enough time to my job as well as to my integral health and my physical activity. I now take calcium supplementation and medication and devote lots of time to exercise. I started with expressive rhythmic movement. In 1995, I began Yoga Iyengar, which involves strength and stretching. I practised it two hours per day for five years. In 1999, I tried aerobic gym for which I have developed an increasing enthusiasm with each passing day. I accompany all this with weight-bearing exercise, which helps me increase my bone mineral density and strengthen my support structure. I suffer no pain at all, so common in people my age.
“In 2003, I got acquainted with combat fitness, a combination of martial arts, aerobics and boxing. Practising this gives me enormous pleasure because it connects me with joy, power, strength, speed and the coordination of movements. It’s really pleasing to see and feel that with constancy and perseverance, at 64, I am able to practice the same physical activity that my younger colleagues perform. "As from July 2004, I started to jog with a personal trainer. At present I jog three times a week, very early in the mornings. I always use a cardiotachometer to check my heart rate. I still take my gym lessons in the evenings.
“I am fortunate to have the support and encouragement of my doctor who told me to do all the exercise I wished but to be careful so as not to suffer any fractures or lesions which are very difficult to recover from at my age. So, after having positive cardiological checkups, I dared to participate in three marathons! “Tests have shown that my osteoporosis as well as my lumbar osteopenia have improved a lot. At present, I enjoy good psychophysical health, great energy and emotional stability – and I believe that this is largely due to all the physical activity I engage in.”
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