More Evidence that Exercise Improves Bone Strength
Several 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 changes.
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 bone density."
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.