Cycling And Osteoporosis

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Connie858, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    I bring this up because I have full blown osteoporosis in my left femur. It was diagnosed in my late 30's. Luckily for me the rest of my body has a much higher than average bone density, but I need to take care of and be aware of the fact that my left femur is at an increased risk of fractures. Few women are fortunate enough to have advanced warning and know before they break a bone.

    Osteoporosis is one of many diseases women in particular are warned about repeatedly. Calcium, Vitamin D, Boron, rare minerals... the list goes on and it is always a case of make sure you get enough calcium whilst you are growing up. Drink up your milk etc. Does any of this sound familiar?

    On to that list (the nagged constantly list) for the prevention of osteoporosis goes weigh bearing exercise. Make sure you get plenty of weight bearing exercise - that's walking, running, jogging, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, dancing, skipping and so on. But sadly cycling is not on that list or at least it is not on the list that the International Osteoporosis Foundation list as exercise that is good for preventing osteoporosis. And something like 1 in 3 women will suffer from it in their lives and few will know they have this disease until they have unexpectedly broken a bone from a simple fall.

    Sadly, out favourite hobby is not going to protect us: road cycling, casual cycling, even just riding a mountain bike down a path or lane is not a weight bearing exercise. http://www.womenscycling.ca/blog/health-tips/protect-dem-bones-cycling-and-osteoporosis/

    Though curiously, some medical sites (other than the International Osteoporosis Foundation) do list cycling as a good preventative measure against osteoporosis.

    The UK's NHS contradicts itself in the space of several lines, saying

    "Regular exercise is essential. Adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
    Weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise are particularly important for improving bone density and helping to prevent osteoporosis." But "Weight-bearing exercises are exercises where your feet and legs support your weight. High-impact weight-bearing exercises, such as running, skipping, dancing, aerobics, and even jumping up and down on the spot, are all useful ways to strengthen your muscles, ligaments and joints."

    Webmdb is clearer on the matter, stating that cycling is not a weight bearing exercise: http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/exercise-for-osteoporosis


    So what is the good news?

    Well mountain biking has now been shown to increase bone density but I don't mean riding your mountain bike along a country lane... I do mean trail riding and that bone jarring, knee knocking, never sitting in the saddle type of mountain biking.... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11792598

    What else? Well getting out there and being out on the bike (and not using too much sun block or sun blocking clothes) increases our Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D and calcium are needed to ensure good bone density and one of the best after exercise recovery drinks is known to be a glass of milk (or in my case milk alternative). So build in to your cycling routine 3-4 miles of walking a week or another medium to high impact sport, don't apply too much sun block and you should have your bases covered!
     
    Tags:


  2. Rhodolite

    Rhodolite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5
    Don't over expose on the Vitamin D thing cause you only need a couple minutes of sunlight on exposed skin. Otherwise it's just skin cancer waiting to happen but it makes a lot of sense that general road cycling won't build bone strength since you're not stressing it enough to keep up with bone reinforcement. It's a good thing I like to walk a lot haha.
     
  3. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    In the UK, the NHS state you will create enough vitamin D if hands and face are exposed for 15 minutes 3 - 4 times a week.

    Given I always wear gloves all year round, I work on the grounds of allowing my face all the sunlight it can get in winter (there is evidence to state that the type of light we get in winter at these latitudes is not sufficient to allow the body to create Vit D and that everyone in the UK should supplement Vit D in the winter months!). In the summer, it is another matter entirely, but my preference is not to use sun block because that has also been shown to cause skin cancer... I prefer just to cover up, but I have always had to being red headed and very fair skinned. Mind you, in the summer my freckles do a really good job of acting as a sun screen because they will join up! :lol:
     
Loading...
Loading...