Nearly one in three people currently residing in the United
States was born between 1946 and 1964. Many of these "Baby
Boomers" are women now nearing or well into their 50s - the
postmenopausal stage of life. For many of these women, this
is a crucial time in life, particularly with respect to declining
hormone levels and bone density.
suggests that women lose approximately 2.5 percent of her
bone mineral density (BMD) per year following menopause. Following
a recent analysis of 13 studies, researchers came to the conclusion
that exercise - in particular, aerobic exercise - can help
maintain BMD as women age.
Previously, data were not available for BMD in postmenopausal
women; only recently has dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
(DEXA) been utilized to gauge bone density before and after
exercise. Of the exercises subjects performed within the studies
examined, those yielding the most positive data with respect
to bone density were jogging, walking (briskly) and stair
climbing, in that order.
Results indicated that BMD was most improved in the lumbar
vertebrae and femoral neck. For years, pharmacologic intervention
- drugs - has been a first line of defense in preventing bone
loss and resultant osteoporosis. This analysis, however, adds
to increasing evidence suggesting the value of conservative
tactics - in this case, exercise.
For more information on ways to maintain bone density and
ward off osteoporosis, talk to your doctor of chiropractic.
Miller LE, Nickols-Richardson SM, Ramp WK, et al. Bone density
in postmenopausal women. Does exercise training make a difference?
The Physician and Sportsmedicine February 2004;32(2).
For additional information on women’s health, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/women/