Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Exercise and bone health

It is well known that regular exercise is excellent for your heart, health and well-being. There is also plenty of evidence that proves that regular exercise is essential in warding off various health-related issues; what's not as well known is that people who perform non-weight bearing exercises such as cycling or swimming as their sole method of exercise could be putting themselves at risk for osteoporosis.
 
Bone is living tissue that responds to loads placed on it. If you perform  non-weight bearing exercises your bones won't retain their density like they would with a weight bearing exercise. If cycling or swimming is currently your only form of exercise, you can be proactive in preventing the disease by adding a little variation in your training.
A common misconception is that osteoporosis is a disease that is limited to aging women since low estrogen causes bone deterioration, in fact it can affect men as well. Care should be taken for young people in particular, since bones keep growing and do not reach peak density until the age of 30.

For those of you that have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it doesn't mean you have to stop moving. Instead, perform exercises that strengthen the back, core and hip, and ensure that you supplement your routine with alternate workouts. Before you run out and buy calcium supplements or change your training schedule, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor for their recommendations first.

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. Campion F, NeviII A, MedeIIi J, et al. Bone Status in Professional Cyclists. International Journal Of Sports Medicine. July 2010;31(7):511-515.
2. Cedaro R. Osteroprorosis And Cycling. Triathlon & Multi Sport Magazine. July 2, 2012;15(7):76-78.
3. CYCLISTS AT RISK FOR OSTEOPOROSIS. IDEA Fitness Journal. July 2009;6(7):12.
4. Giles M. Bone strength matters. Bicycling Australia. May 2006;(139):52-54.
5. Hamilton A. Cycling health: a bone of contention. Cycling Weekly. September 30, 2010;:50-51.
6. Hawkins K. Cycling: Bad for the Bones?. Bicycle Paper. August 2012;41(6):1-5.
7. Nichols J, Rauh M. LONGITUDINAL CHANGES IN BONE MINERAL DENSITY IN MALE MASTER CYCLISTS AND NONATHLETES. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). March 2011;25(3):727-734.

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