Dexa Scan and Bone Health
I recently finished Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia, M.D. Like so many books I consume, I listened to it while cleaning the gym, cooking, driving, etc. I actually listened to Outlive twice and the second time I took notes. It's one of the most important books I've read this year. I suspect I will listen to it again in a few months.
The things I learned in the book were aggravating, shocking, and inspiring. Attia does a good job of explaining what's broken with our current health system and what we can do, personally, to take control of our health and wellness.
Prior to reading Outlive I had been dragging my feet on a number of diagnostic tests. It had been 3 years since my last mammogram, I'm a year overdue on my "congrats your 50 colonoscopy," and, according to Attia, I probably needed a Dexa scan. I'm fortunate in that my health insurance will cover all of these tests and I scheduled all of them.
I completed my mammogram and Dexa scan last week. I've already had 3 benign breast tumors removed so I know that annual mammograms are important for my extremely dense breast tissue. While I am not in a high risk for osteoporosis or decreased bone health, I wanted a Dexa scan because my father (NOT my mother) discovered he had decreased bone density in his 60s and I was curious to see what the past 13 years of CrossFit had done for my bone density.
TL;DR, my bone density is better than the average 30 year old woman:) Not bad for being 51!
A Dexa scan will give you 2 scores a T and Z score. The T score is you compared to the young normal mean, AKA average 30 year old women. The Z score is you compare to the age matched mean, AKA average woman your age. Obviously, for me that's 51. Your scores are the standard deviations from the mean. A standard deviation (SD) is a statistical number of the amount a score, in my case my Dexa scores, vary from the mean. A positive SD is higher than average and a negative SD is lower than average. Check out the image below to see how these numbers play out.
My Dexa scan measured my hip and my spine.
Here are my hip scores:
T Score: -0.2 (Standard Deviations from the young normal mean).
Z Score: 0.6 (Standard Deviations from the age matched mean).
I was actually surprised my hip scores weren't higher. Compared to 30 year old women I'm ever so slightly below normal, and compare to women my age I'm ever sol slightly above normal. What does this mean to me? I will continue to do my regular fitness training and probably add in more lateral agility and plyometric work.
Here are my spine scores:
T Score (Average): 2.9 (Standard Deviations from the young normal mean).
Z Score (Average): 3.7 (Standard Deviations from the age matched mean).
Obviously all of the squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and all the other things we do that load the core (and thus the spine) have not only created kick ass core strength they have also created fantastic bone density and spinal stability. I'm in the top 2% compared to both age groups. That makes me super happy! What will I do about this? Celebrate my good health and appreciate how 13 years of CrossFit has increased my health span.
Have you read Outlive? Are you inspired to schedule all of your age-related diagnostic screening? Share with us some of your wins.
Today we honor Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
Please remember, we have only one class today at noon.
LT. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL) was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wings, tasked with finding a key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters.
A fierce gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.
Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point, he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, LT. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.
LT. Murphy fought on, allowing one member of his team (Marcus Luttrell) to escape, before he was killed. For his selfless actions, LT. Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 27, 2007.
This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". On August 18, 2005, CrossFit HQ created the Murph Hero WOD in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is. Murph is the third Hero WOD CrossFit HQ created.
Fair winds and following seas, Sir.
1 mile run
1 mile run
Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. We recommend 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats.
Lt. Murphy did this workout with a 20b flak jacket, if you have one, wear it.
Scaling options are to do 1/4 or 1/2 of all distances and reps.
We program Murph on Memorial Day to remind us that heroes exist. This workout is long, difficult, and intimidating. As you compete your version of Murph, remember the men and women who gave everything to serve our great country. All gave some and some gave all. Memorial Day is our day to remember those who gave all.
Take a moment today to honor all the brave souls who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. All gave some and some gave all.
Tomorrow we will gather together at noon at the gym to complete the Hero workout, Murph. We hope you can join us.
Click on the image below.
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
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