For years, Anne Somauroo struggled to walk due to her osteoporosis pain. Now 66, she clocks 15,000 steps a day and lifts heavier than ever.
For 10 years, I spent almost every day in agony. In 2019, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis – a condition that weakens bones and indirectly causes joint pain. Doctors prescribed me painkillers, calcium tablets and anti-inflammatories, but they gave no relief. I couldn’t walk for longer than 45 minutes – and I wrote off exercise entirely. Then, during the lockdowns, my knee pain became unbearable.
Before retiring from my nursing career in 2017, I’d been on my feet every day. Now I could barely walk. I decided enough was enough. I tasked my daughter with finding me a personal training gym, and she found Roar in London.
When the day of my consultation arrived, I felt anxious – and I was convinced that my age would mark me out as different. I needn’t have worried about it. Not only were the trainers welcoming, but they were knowledgeable about my condition and how weight training could help to strengthen the muscles surrounding my joints.
I signed up for a 12-week programme, made up of three hour-long workouts each week. The first session was hard. I was so out of breath and had no idea what the exercises or equipment were. But alongside teaching me how to perform the moves, my trainer explained to me why we were doing them.
Sticking to the schedule was tough, especially at first. Each week, we’d do a full-body, upper-body and lower-body session, with a focus on leg exercises, as walking without pain was my main goal; that way, each muscle group got a rest. And having a PT to hold me accountable really helped to keep me motivated.
Three weeks in, I began to feel different. I had more stamina, and I was finishing every session with a huge sense of accomplishment. And as my strength improved, my pain began to feel much more manageable. By the end of the 12 weeks, I got through a day without ibuprofen – the first time in more than a decade.
Two years on, I’m still doing the same routine – only the weights are heavier and I’m doing more advanced exercises. When I started out on my fitness journey, I couldn’t do a squat and had never heard of a leg press; now, I can do both with 40kg.
But my confidence in the gym is the least of it. I’m no longer in pain, I sleep deeper and I have more energy; it’s no exaggeration to say I feel 20 years younger. I walk up to 15,000 steps a day and I’ve booked a walking holiday in Japan.
My approach to training has led to an interest in nutrition, too. Breakfast might be eggs and smoked salmon, lunch could be chicken with rice and vegetables, and dinner is fish and vegetables. The biggest game changer has been upping my water intake; now, I drink 3L a day.
When I retired, my biggest worry was how I’d fill my days – I even moved my retirement date back three times. I only wish I’d started my fitness journey sooner. Now that I have, I know I’ll keep training for the rest of my life.