issues ago we summarized a study from Sports Medicine that
advocated weightbearing exercise (walking, running, step aerobics,
etc.) for bone strength. (See "Maintain Strong Bones
with Exercise" in the Sept. 1999 To Your Health.) Now
comes another study, this time from Medicine & Science in
Sports & Exercise, that discusses the impact of resistance
training on bone strength.
The authors in this study reviewed 10 years of literature
on exercise and bone mineral density (BMD), paying particular
attention to potential differences in type of exercise (weightbearing,
aerobic, or resistance) and the relationship of each to BMD
The research reviewed suggested that exercise positively
affects BMD in young and older adults, with the effects being
specific to the muscles worked and the bones to which they
attach. The authors also noted that "although aerobic
exercise and weightbearing physical activity are important...
resistance training seems to have a more potent impact on
Resistance training is just about any exercise in which the
muscles are forced to resist against an opposing force ‹ i.e.,
exercises involving free weights or weight machines, often
with progression (increasing the resistance each set). Your
chiropractor can tell you more about resistance training and
outline an exercise routine appropriate to your needs.
Layne JE, Nelson ME. The effects of progressive resistance
training on bone density: a review. Medicine & Science
in Sports & Exercise, 1999: Vol. 31, No. 1, pp25-30.