If it seems like I’m dissing women on the natural decrepitude of aging, first let me say the same things happen to men. It happens less often to men because of the natural differences between us. Women have less muscle mass, and we have fatty deposits in different places. We get osteoporosis earlier than men. We are different, and therefore, we age differently, but there is another difference. Men just don’t seem to care as much. You’re more likely to see women having face lifts, tummy tucks, and liposuction than men, although these statistics are changing as men are becoming more obsessed with the maintenance of a youthful appearance.
But since 1010 Park Place is all about us gals, let’s talk about women over 50 and preventing a slumped spine.
Whether you call them batwings, jiggly arms, or you remind yourself not to “wave like that,” our arms will eventually be a problem for most of us. It’s fine to strengthen your triceps, but just so you know, those batwings won’t go away. But you say you know someone who did 200 dips a day, and their batwings went away? Okay, then have at it, but for every one of those people, I can tell you about 25 who injured their rotator cuffs and triceps tendons doing the same dips. Instead, let’s think about exercising for the purpose of maintaining our strength, not to fill up sagging flesh with bulging muscles.
Because that doesn’t work.
Photograph from Spana.org
I hope you’ve been reading Dr. Barbara Bergin’s humorous and informative series of blog posts about what happens to our bodies as we age. She cracks me up sometimes, but I’ve learned a lot about why various parts of my body seem to be turning on me. This week she’s talking about women over 50 and fat knees.
Not all patients come to see me for painful conditions. Some see me because they don’t like what they see in their aging bodies, and they believe I can tell them how to fix it. I’ve shared one of those concerns previously on 1010 Park Place: why our butts get flat and wide.
In a recent post, Brenda suggested if we wear tight leggings, some of us might want to cover our bums. Unfortunately that’s true, because there comes a time when we might want to cover the things that don’t look as nice as they did when we were young, perky, and had lots of strong collagen. When I look in the mirror, I can tip my head, smile, cross my legs just so, and I think I look pretty good, even at 67.
But grab another mirror, turn around, and it’s quite a different story.
I have a girlfriend in Austin who always says I’m too dressed up for Austin. Sometimes she’s right and sometimes she’s not, but I don’t care. I’m dressing for me, not to follow a trend or fit in with the hip Austin millennials—who all look alike—the older hippie dippy crowd or those women of a certain age who look fabulous.
I’m interested in what looks good on me.
“Do not do squats!” It’s almost a mantra for me, and I don’t know why. After all, squats, deep knee bends and lunges have probably paid for both of my kids’ college and grad school educations. I should love the squat, but for years I’ve been telling my patients don’t do squats, wondering if I was alone in this opinion, and then I saw this on the internet. Orthopedic surgeon invents Crossfit to fund his children’s education! Who’da thunk it? Continue Reading
Do you remember your mom scolding you when you reached across the table for the rolls before anyone else had a chance to get one? At that time, “grabby” was as much a state-of-mind as it was an impolite reach.
When I tell patients not to be so grabby, I mean it literally. I want them to stop grabbing, because it’s wearing out their hands.
No, this isn’t a reference to a gunshot wound. First used in 1916, it’s a metaphor that refers to something that gives us renewed energy or enthusiasm, generally from the effects of vitamins, narcotics, or drugs.
Jump to 2019, and in my case it means steroids.
Many of my patients complain of pain in their knees when they stand up from a sitting position. It’s a COMMON COMPLAINT. It’s often one of the earliest signs of arthritis, and it’s certainly a reminder we’re getting old. When I was a young woman, I could go from lotus position, to a sprint, without thinking one iota about my knees. Now just to get up—after sitting through a rerun of Law & Order—is a stark reminder of my age.
Our aged knees would like nothing better than for us to get in the fetal position and stay there.