Did you know we have an on-site Osteopath here in Winchester? Michael offers a range of treatments to help deal with any aches and pains you might have.
Here he examines Cycling, Walking, Running And Strength Training and the impact it can have on bone density...
Nikander et al. (2009) observed that athletes who participate in aerobic non-weight bearing sports, such as cyclists and swimmers, usually present lower bone mineral density compared to those taking part in impact sports. The aerobic non-weight bearing sports generate high levels of muscle forces but no impact forces. This may be a sign that gravitational loading (impact) is really relevant to bone stimulation (Nikander et al., 2009).
A seven-year longitudinal study (Nichols & Rauh, 2011) followed the changes in bone mass of competitive male master cyclists and found out that many of them had low bone mineral density and therefore a high fracture risk. The authors, thus, recommended alternative exercises (weight lifting, plyometrics, or other high impact activity) as a complement to cycle training to help minimize bone loss in this population. Thinking of postmenopausal women, cycling could be recommended for the improvement of general health, along with another impact weight bearing and strengthening physical activity.
A review on the osteogenic effects of walking, the most commom exercise worldwide, showed that the impact promoted by this activity could improve femoral bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, with no positive effects on spine bone mineral density (Martyn-St & Carroll, 2008). Another study (Ma, Wu & He, 2013) confirmed that walking as a singular exercise therapy has no significant effects on bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, at the radius, or for the whole body in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, although significant and positive effects on femoral neck bone mineral density are evident with interventions with more than 6 months in duration. It seems that only the impact of brisk walking is not enough to stimulate spine bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
Another study (Velez et al., 2008) compared 44 eldery runners to sedentary controls (over 65 years of age) and found out the runners presented a significantly better total body bone mineral density. Other authors (Chien et al., 2000) found similar results when comparing sedentary to active postmenopausal women. Treadmill walking for 30 mins and step climbing for 10 mins) led to a bone mineral density improvement of 2.0% (p > 0.05) and 6.8% (p < 0.05) in lumbar and femoral neck, respectively in the training group, whereas the control group lost 2.3% (p < 0.05) and 1.5% (p > 0.05) bone mineral density of the same sites.
Basat, Esmaeilzadeh & Eskiyurt (2013) studied 42 postmenopausal women allocated to three groups receiving strengthening exercise, high-impact exercise or no exercise (control). After 6 months there was a significant increase in the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine (p = 0.017) and femoral neck (p = 0.013) in the high-impact group compared to the strengthening and control groups. Serum osteocalcin, a bone formation marker, increased (p = 0.033) and NTx, a bone resorption marker, decreased significantly (p = 0.034) in the high-impact group only. These results show that impact forces are a relevant element in the stimulation of bone metabolism.
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Moreira, M.D.F, Oliveria, M.L., Lirani-Galvto, A.P., Marin-Mio, R.V., Santos, R.N., Lazarett-Castro, M. 2014. Physical exercise and osteoporosis: effects of different types of exercises on bone and physical function of postmenopausal women. Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia. 58(5). [viewed 23 October 2017]. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-27302014000500514#B12
Nikander R, Kannus P, Dastidar P, Hannula M, Harrison L, Cervinka T, et al. Targeted exercises against hip fragility. Osteoporos Int. 2009;20(8):1321-8.
Nichols JF, Rauh MJ. Longitudinal changes in bone mineral density in male master cyclists and nonathletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(3):727-34.
Martyn-St JM, Carroll S. Meta-analysis of walking for preservation of bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Bone. 2008;43(3):521-31.
Ma D, Wu L, He Z. Effects of walking on the preservation of bone mineral density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Menopause. 2013;20(11):1216-26.
Velez NF, Zhang A, Stone B, Perera S, Miller M, Greenspan SL. The effect of moderate impact exercise on skeletal integrity in master athletes. Osteoporos Int. 2008;19(10):1457-64
Chien MY, Wu YT, Hsu AT, Yang RS, Lai JS. Efficacy of a 24-week aerobic exercise program for osteopenic postmenopausal women. Calcif Tissue Int. 2000;67(6):443-8.
Basat H, Esmaeilzadeh S, Eskiyurt N. The effects of strengthening and high-impact exercises on bone metabolism and quality of life in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2013;26(4):427-35