Men Should Add Impact Exercise for Strong Bones

New findings in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggest high-impact exercise, like running, helps keep bones strong in men. Scientists studied 42 athletic men, ages 19 to 45, and discovered running yielded bigger benefits for bone density than strengthen training, both runners and weight-lifters had higher bone density than road cyclists, weight-lifters had strong bones due to bigger muscles, but runners had even stronger bones, regardless of muscle size; Reuters reports.

In January, another study on cyclists showed despite having less body fat and more muscle, bike-riders had weaker bones and were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop osteoporosis. Researchers recommended adding running or weight-training. Not a bad idea, because in the U.S. the lifetime rate of bone fracture is 40% in 50-year-old women and over 13% in men, with 300,000 hip fractures each year.

Time for some shameless marketing! Strong bones need strong muscles. Muscles strength is directly related to bone density and in Dr. Fuhrman’s DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life he demonstrates a bunch of bone-building exercises you can do at home and it’s a lot cheaper than a gym membership!

Flickr: jeremyh21

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Comments (10) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Steve - March 16, 2009 10:35 AM

Hi Gerry
It's interesting that there seems to be a lot of benefit to the "impact". There would be a lot of force when the foot hits the ground. Typically we are taught to minimize impact, I guess we need an optimum amount actually.

Half kidding, perhaps instead of buying expensive running shoes and running a lot, maybe just run barefoot in the park for a few minutes.

Presumably punching a heavy bag and/or doing explosive pushups would help arm bone density (I suspect running is not effective there).

Cheers, Steve

Heidi - March 16, 2009 12:51 PM

so, is this limited to men? I would assume the same goes for women.

Also, I find it confusing. For joint health avoid a lot of impact, for bone health impact is good. How do you strike a happy medium here?

Gerry Pugliese - March 16, 2009 12:56 PM

Hey Heidi-

Yup, same goes for women. Did you read the link about Dr. Fuhrman's DVD?

As for the other part, let me check with Dr. Fuhrman. That's a good question.


Gerry Pugliese - March 16, 2009 5:17 PM

Hey Heidi-

I just checked with Dr. Fuhrman and he said that's a myth and things like jumping, skipping and hopping are great for joint and bone health and only a person with degenerative joint disease should avoid impact exercises.


Heidi - March 16, 2009 5:18 PM

Thanks - Will be interested to see what he says.

Yes, I did go back and read the link. I see he included women.

I do medical transcription and hear doctors telling patients to lose weight to take stress off their joints. I also see one of Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations is to wear a weighted vest to help prevent osteoporosis. So yes, I am confused and would be thrilled to get an explaination.

Joel Fuhrman, MD - March 16, 2009 5:54 PM

Being significantly overweight adds stress to degenerate the joint capsule. Wearing a weighted vest when you are slim with 8 – 15 pounds for a few hours a day is not the same thing as being obese with 50 – 150 extra pounds on your knees and back all day long.

Heidi - March 16, 2009 6:04 PM

That makes sense - thank you.

Sara - March 16, 2009 8:31 PM

Don't forget the jumping exercises in the video.

Travis - July 10, 2009 3:34 AM

I always knew running is a beneficial exercise not only it uses all body parts but it is actually a FUN thing to do as compared with the long boring cardio in bicycle or treadmills...

Abs Diet Plan - February 21, 2010 5:47 PM

I think it's a case of cycling being extremely low impact as opposed to high impact activities such as running or weight lifting which actually increase the bones density by increasing the mineral deposits within the bone.

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