Brittle bones of aging women

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Corzhens, Mar 12, 2016.

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  1. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I was warned by a doctor to take it easy on physical activities (not necessarily biking) because the bones get brittle as a woman ages. Those part 40, said the doctor, should be taking calcium supplements for the bone to maintain bone density. It is also the case with men but on a lesser magnitude. Fortunately, drinking milk is a good recourse instead of taking vitamins or supplements for the bone.
     
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  2. knitmebikey

    knitmebikey New Member

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    I have a lot of problems with my bones and my spine, and I've been told the same thing by doctors, that I need to take it easy and be careful on my body.
     
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Member

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    Since giving birth, I have had spine and hip joint pains. My older bike wasn't good enough for me anymore since I need to hunch over to reach the handlebars. So then I started looking for bicycles that are more suited for people who have brittle bones and pains.

    I found some cruiser bikes that work great for me. I tried them out and I felt so much relief. I don't have to hunch over anymore. They have cushions in their seats which I love. Their tires are wide and they are also shock absorbent. I bought one and since then, I have never looked back.

    But of course, different bike types suit different people. The perfect solution is to try out different bike types and see what works best for you. Better yet, have it fitted specifically for what you need.
     
  4. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    Bones do become weaker with age, but there is actually a lot you can do to slow that down and even reverse bone loss in some cases. There is some misunderstanding about calcium supplements out there. It turns out that taking calcium supplements or even eating extra dairy will not cause your bones to retain more calcium after menopause unless you do bone building exercise, which is weight bearing exercises that stress the bone, stimulating the bone to draw in more of the calcium available to strengthen itself. It's somewhat similar to how muscles build strength, they must be exercised. Also, taking a lot of calcium when you are not doing exercises that promote bone building may lead to too much calcium in the blood, and calcium deposits elsewhere in the body, which can be very bad. I would personally stick to food sources of calcium and skip the supplements.

    Cycling will not stress your bones much at all, so you'll need to make sure you do weight bearing exercises in addition to it.
     
  5. Destiny3614

    Destiny3614 Member

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    I always take a multivitamin more active women, I want to keep my body as healthy as possible.
     
  6. briannagodess

    briannagodess Member

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    @DancingLady

    Thank you for this comprehensive information. I have heard of some people who had calcium deposits in their bodies. Since then, I was a bit apprehensive about drinking milk on a daily basis as well. But your post has cleared the issue for me. So drinking milk and milk supplements only work if you combine it with weight bearing exercises, right? Otherwise, the dairy products would just lead to deposits in the body.

    It's too bad since I don't really do much weight training. I do cardio most of the week and only some body building if I have the time. Anyway, I think I'll try and incorporate more weight training into my routine as well.

    I have also read before that there are foods rich in calcium and that we don't even need milk. That's another reason why I tried staying away from milk and milk-derived products.
     
  7. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    I have always heard that calcium deposits are actually a result of not having enough calcium in your system. When there is a crisis situation with the supplement being in low supply, the body begins to store it in different places. When the bones need extra calcium they draw it from these storage areas. Is this a backward way of thinking? It is what I've believed for quite some time but perhaps I need to do some extra research... particularly since I just turned 47 today. ACK! :eek:
     
  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    So it means that women should drink milk for the required calcium allowance and match it with physical activities to be effective? Maybe that's why I have kidney stones because I drink milk at least 3 times a week (every other day) but there are times that I don't exercise. Take note that my work in the office is a sedentary job - meetings, computers - so I admit that I lack physical activities.
     
  9. lisasian86

    lisasian86 New Member

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    My doctor has recommended cycling and swimming as ways to reduce the high impact of running on the bones and joints, I have an old knee injury which I had to have surgery for and I have suffered with shin splints from running before (but that was probably due to poor form, running on concrete and pushing myself too hard). I think keeping the calcium intake up and sticking to exercises that are kind to your joints is the best way to go.
     
  10. bike4life65

    bike4life65 New Member

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    I would have to beg to differ on this one. I've always ridden a bike as a child and picked up road biking when I turned 50 (yes, odd time to start). I trained for a year on the road and I'm not sure what it was but I ended up with shin splints or a stress fracture I haven't had an xray done yet. But because of that I've stopped for about two months to simply give it a rest because I figured that's what they would tell me anyhow.

    Maybe I was training too hard I don't really know. Bike fit, form, shoes? Could be any number of things.

    Has anyone else encountered shin splints or worse???
     
  11. Acheno84

    Acheno84 Member

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    I too have been told the same thing. I have been told that working retail for as many years as I did actually did significant damage to my joints and back, so I will always have pain of some sort. He told me that my bones are brittle and that I have the bone damage that a 60 year old woman would have; I was 25 when they told me this. It hasn't stopped me though. I take calcium pills, I take bone health supplements, etc. I figure I'll always have pain of some sort. Why let it ruin my life?
     
  12. bike4life65

    bike4life65 New Member

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    Yes, I think some pain comes with the territory cause I certainly do miss the bike riding!

    I'll probably go to the doctor and have my shin splints xray'd just to be on the safe side and rule out
    something worse :(

    I do drink Vitamin D milk so we will see what happens!
     
  13. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member

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    Why don't you take to swimming? It's an absolutely safe exercise that gives all the benefits of a cardio workout. Yes, bike riding for women above 40 could be harmful. More so, if you take to outdoor biking. Taking calcium supplements is fine. You should also take Vitamin-D3 supplements to absorb Calcium better or stay exposed to Sun for at least an hour or two.
     
  14. sbayhylle

    sbayhylle New Member

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    While I was battling shin splints (I battled them for almost a year) I used a rower instead of running. If you have access to a rowing machine, it's a great option for a total body workout. If you're having joint issues taking an Omega 3 supplement will do absolute wonders for them. The body cannot get enough Omega 3 even from eating fish regularly. I take 2000mg/day of a high quality fish oil and I cannot tell you the amount of relief that I've experienced...no more Synvisk shots in my knee! Women in their 40's and above are doing their bodies a huge disservice by relying on cardio alone; we need weights! I think that too many women shy away from lifting because they assume that lifting will make them bulky which is an absolute myth. Healthy bones need weight lifting :)
     
  15. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    If you are getting stress injuries on a bike, you are likely pushing too high of a gear for the situation/speed.
    Try a lower gear and a higher cadence. This (riding aerobically) will tend to build muscle which supports the joints/bones. Riding anaerobically will tend to tear down muscle, which will need to be built back up later.
     
  16. Lisa Jo Davis

    Lisa Jo Davis New Member

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    I think cycling as long as you aren't pushing yourself too hard is much less impact that walking, jogging, or running. I would always make sure I had adequate shoes to support your ankles and a seat that is comfortable. I would rather cycle and take it easy than to give up the activity altogether. I would think stopping exercising would be more detrimental than trying to protect your bones from being brittle. I say stay active and take whatever supplements your doctor recommends.
     
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