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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-22-07, 08:32 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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What Cycling Isn't Good For: Bone Density

As Jeannine Stein points out in this piece in the L.A. Times, cycling is great cardio, and it's excellent for building muscles. But one thing that cycling is not excellent for is building bone-strength. Stein directs us to a recent study conducted by Pam Hinton, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study, which looked at the bone mineral density of 27 cyclists and 16 runners ages 20 to 59, showed that 63 percent of cyclists had lower-than-normal bone density of the spine or hip, compared with 19 percent of the runners. What to do? Hinton recommends that cyclists add a little variety to their workouts to help increase bone density: running, playing basketball, jumping rope or doing plyometrics a couple of times a week

More at the LA Times

This is useful because Bone Density and strength is an issue with Clyde's and Athena's. We generate raw brute horsepower, if you'll pardon the pun and if we crash, we land harder, making us more prone to injury. Calcium Citrate and Vitamin D supplementation and load bearing exercise help offset this.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:19 AM   #2
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Cycling is good, but all around physical activities is better. Swimming is good for low impact, but you still need to do other things. I have been told that for years, and I am still trying to keep with that. I like almost all sports, so that is a good thing for me.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:57 AM   #3
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Ok, that was a comparison to "runners".

But how do we compare to "couch potatoes"?

Jay
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Old 10-22-07, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
As Jeannine Stein points out in this piece in the L.A. Times, cycling is great cardio, and it's excellent for building muscles. But one thing that cycling is not excellent for is building bone-strength. Stein directs us to a recent study conducted by Pam Hinton, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The study, which looked at the bone mineral density of 27 cyclists and 16 runners ages 20 to 59, showed that 63 percent of cyclists had lower-than-normal bone density of the spine or hip, compared with 19 percent of the runners. What to do? Hinton recommends that cyclists add a little variety to their workouts to help increase bone density: running, playing basketball, jumping rope or doing plyometrics a couple of times a week

More at the LA Times

This is useful because Bone Density and strength is an issue with Clyde's and Athena's. We generate raw brute horsepower, if you'll pardon the pun and if we crash, we land harder, making us more prone to injury. Calcium Citrate and Vitamin D supplementation and load bearing exercise help offset this.
The article neglects to point out some important information, like Dr. Hintons research program, works only with female participants. Something I was able to determine from A quick Yahoo search which turned up this page on Dr. Hinton. Please do not use the contact info on the page to harass or rant at Dr. Hinton, I include it here, only because it is available to anyone with Yahoo, so it's essentially public information. Although one of us, could always email her to see if a copy of the study is available online or electronically. By the way Pam Hinton the racing cyclist, and Pam Hinton the University professor are the same person, so she clearly isn't biased against cyclists.

Many of these studies are hundreds of pages in length, to turn this into a 5 column inch article in a newspaper, a lot of information that could be useful is left out, partly because of space, and partly because it isn't "news" in the editors mind.
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Old 10-23-07, 02:16 PM   #5
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Ok, that was a comparison to "runners".

But how do we compare to "couch potatoes"?

Jay
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Old 10-23-07, 03:43 PM   #6
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I'll be emailing her, thank! I haven't had time to look, and was going to myself . I'll pass along answers.
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The article neglects to point out some important information, like Dr. Hintons research program, works only with female participants. Something I was able to determine from A quick Yahoo search which turned up this page on Dr. Hinton. Please do not use the contact info on the page to harass or rant at Dr. Hinton, I include it here, only because it is available to anyone with Yahoo, so it's essentially public information. Although one of us, could always email her to see if a copy of the study is available online or electronically. By the way Pam Hinton the racing cyclist, and Pam Hinton the University professor are the same person, so she clearly isn't biased against cyclists.

Many of these studies are hundreds of pages in length, to turn this into a 5 column inch article in a newspaper, a lot of information that could be useful is left out, partly because of space, and partly because it isn't "news" in the editors mind.
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Old 10-23-07, 04:35 PM   #7
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This makes total sense to me. They've shown that getting senior citizens to perform even the most rudimentary strength training vastly increases their bone density.
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Old 10-24-07, 04:39 PM   #8
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The reason this is true is because you need impact exercise to get the calcium to be absorbed. I remember listening to the Jerry Linenger, M.D. who was on the Mir. He lost more then 10% of his bone mass and he said that even though he ran on a treadmill there he was not getting the pounding exercise that he needed for his bones to absorb it.

I think this is a good wake up call for all of us to get physically fit using more then one exercise. Weight lifting is a great way to help prevent or you can do any other exercise that you enjoy doing.
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Old 10-24-07, 04:42 PM   #9
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Yes this is old news.....they want us to do a bit of cross training .....
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Old 10-24-07, 04:50 PM   #10
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I started doing some running as cross training. In the past I've had some issues with chronic injuries associated with running..so I'm getting a good cross training workout, building up bone density but I have to be very careful to avoid injury or the bone density won't mean a whole lot. I run about 10 miles per week...not much.


I played basketball for a long time and the injury risk there is even worse.
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Old 10-24-07, 05:11 PM   #11
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I started doing some running as cross training. In the past I've had some issues with chronic injuries associated with running..so I'm getting a good cross training workout, building up bone density but I have to be very careful to avoid injury or the bone density won't mean a whole lot. I run about 10 miles per week...not much.


I played basketball for a long time and the injury risk there is even worse.
Yeah, I run a couple times a week two for the same reason.

I love basketball. It's way more fun than cycling but my knee just won't accept lateral movement anymore. Plyometrics would be ideal, but repeating those exercises is just boring.

I was considering joining some martial art and making that my focus over winter but I don't know if my knee can take it.
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Old 10-24-07, 05:20 PM   #12
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I've been doing some light weight training, Nordic track and some hiking.....that seems to work
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Old 10-25-07, 12:10 PM   #13
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OK, I have a response from Dr Hinton. Here it is:

Quote:
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your interest in our work. I have attached a press release describing our study of bone density in male cyclists. Clearly, anyone who spends a significant amount of time cycling, regardless of gender needs to do something extra to strengthen their bones. Adequate calcium intake is critical, consuming 1,000-1,500 mg per day should be adequate.

I would hope that you are getting some professional follow-up post-bariatric surgery regarding nutrient absorption/status. I do not see any harm in suggesting a multivitamin, plus calcium and iron. Of course, iron status should be checked (hemoglobin and ferritin) before beginning an iron supplement.



Your weight loss and athletic accomplishments are impressive. Good luck with your RAAM training!



I look forward to participating in your forum.



Take care,

Pam



Pamela S. Hinton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences
As well as a press release on her study for Male Cyclists:
Quote:
From: MU NEWS BUREAU

Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 12:02 PM

Subject: Study Shows Some Athletic Men May Risk Low Bone Density



http://munews.missouri.edu/news-rele...osteopenia.php



Oct. 15, 2007 Contact: Pamela Hinton

Associate Professor

(573) 882-4137

HintonP@missouri.edu

Study Shows Some Athletic Men May Risk Low Bone Density

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects more than 2 million men in the United States and nearly 12 million more have osteopenia—clinically significant low bone density that is less severe than osteoporosis. Now, a new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that men engaging predominantly in low-impact forms of exercise have an increased incidence of osteopenia—a condition resulting in two times the risk of bone fracture.

"Unfortunately, some individuals who believe they are doing everything right in terms of their health might be surprised and upset by our finding," said Pamela Hinton, an associate professor of nutritional sciences in MU's College of Human Environmental Sciences, who co-authored the study. "We believe, however, that these results will ultimately serve as education and motivation for these people."

Hinton said the effects of osteopenia can be mitigated by integration of weight-bearing activities into the lifestyle of active individuals. Studies in pre- and post-menopausal women suggest that bone mineral density will increase 2 percent to 3 percent after six months of resistance training three times per week. Small changes in bone density translate into much larger changes in bone strength—a 1 percent increase in bone density reduces the risk of fracture by up to 5 percent.

"Regular, non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming and cycling are effective measures for preventing the leading risk factors for death and disability in our society,” Hinton said. “But the results of this study suggest that regular weight-bearing activities, such as running, jogging, or rope jumping, are important for the maintenance of healthy bones."

The researchers measured bone mineral density in 43 competitive male cyclists and runners ages 20 to 59. Findings of the study included:

n The cyclists had significantly lower bone mineral density of the whole body, especially of the lumbar spine, compared to runners.

n 63 percent of the cyclists had osteopenia of the spine or hip compared with 19 percent of the runners.

n Cyclists were seven-times more likely to have osteopenia of the spine than the runners.

Background facts:

n The risk of fracture is increased approximately two-fold in osteopenic individuals and five-fold in people with osteopenia.

n Low bone density in males often remains undiagnosed and inadequately treated and, after suffering a fracture, men are less likely to receive follow-up care than women.

n Risk factors for osteoporosis in men are similar to those identified in women: family history, age, low body weight, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, inadequate calcium or vitamin D intake, low reproductive hormone levels, physical inactivity, and disease or medication affecting bone metabolism.

The study, "Participation in road cycling versus running is associated with lower bone mineral density in men," will be published in Metabolism, and is authored by MU researchers R.S. Rector, R. Rogers, M. Ruebel and P.S. Hinton, in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
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Old 10-25-07, 12:34 PM   #14
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By the way, I invited Dr Hinton to join up and participate here in the forum. Hopefully, she will! I can see where she could be a great resource for us and us for her as well!
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Old 10-25-07, 12:42 PM   #15
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Still, it's just a comparative study. It doesn't equate that with what is good or not. We may compare low to runners (of course) but maybe we're still in the good range.

Besides, this is just density of the pelvic region. What about density of the upper and lower legs? With all the muscular pulling in those areas, is it not reasonable to assume better density there? (Of course, probably bad density in the arms/shoulders.)
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Old 10-25-07, 01:02 PM   #16
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Still, it's just a comparative study. It doesn't equate that with what is good or not. We may compare low to runners (of course) but maybe we're still in the good range.

Besides, this is just density of the pelvic region. What about density of the upper and lower legs? With all the muscular pulling in those areas, is it not reasonable to assume better density there? (Of course, probably bad density in the arms/shoulders.)
Pelvic/Lumbar Spine region is a primary core area for the body though. Weakness there can lead to crippling issues later in life, so cross training and Calcium Supplementation would definitely be in order.
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Old 10-25-07, 06:15 PM   #17
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This is true: weakness can lead to later issues. However, my point is, the studies don't state whether the cyclist's density is a weakness. They only state that it is lower than a runner's. But, considering the runner's sport and the impact forces involved, I wouldn't be surprised if a runner scores the highest of all demographics. (Although an argument could be made for body builders scoring the highest overall.)
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Old 10-25-07, 07:08 PM   #18
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Note the part about Osteopoenia. This is a degenerative disease mechanism verging on Osteoporosis. Weaker bone structure overall means a greater risk of fracture, and the cross training and supplementation offsets this easily.
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Old 10-25-07, 08:58 PM   #19
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Note the part about Osteopoenia. This is a degenerative disease mechanism verging on Osteoporosis. Weaker bone structure overall means a greater risk of fracture, and the cross training and supplementation offsets this easily.
Would be interesting to see the same numbers for a person who never cycles, and only walks 20m per day from house to car, from parking spot to office, sits at a desk all day, then reverses the trip home, stopping at the drive through on the way, before sitting in front of the idiot box until bed time, how are they after doing this for 20 years?

Also interesting would be to see a person who, has done the above for 15 years, then in their mid 40's decides to start exercising again, and only uses low impact (swimming and cycling), exercises. How does that compare if they add a lot of walking and some running?

Last point, people are not designed for running on pavement, so if a person only is barefoot, running in the countryside, open grassland and forest duff, what numbers would they present?
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Old 10-26-07, 06:23 PM   #20
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Rowbike?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowbike
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Old 10-27-07, 10:35 PM   #21
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Well, if it's in our illustruous local large publication, the LA Times (otherwise known as the local liberal rag), take it with a grain of salt. Like every piece of literature regarding research, there are multiple points of view. There are also multiple ways to interpret statistical numbers. The bottom line should be mentioned and that is, any type of activity will be better than none. Overdoing something (wheter ultramarothing or ultra-anything else) is bound to offset your multiple gains with multiple negative effects on the body.
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Old 10-27-07, 10:45 PM   #22
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If it was just the LA Times, I'd agree with you. See my email exchange above ^^^^^
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Well, if it's in our illustruous local large publication, the LA Times (otherwise known as the local liberal rag), take it with a grain of salt. Like every piece of literature regarding research, there are multiple points of view. There are also multiple ways to interpret statistical numbers. The bottom line should be mentioned and that is, any type of activity will be better than none. Overdoing something (wheter ultramarothing or ultra-anything else) is bound to offset your multiple gains with multiple negative effects on the body.
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Old 10-27-07, 11:42 PM   #23
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Hi,
seems likely we are simply washing calcium out of our system. If that is the case,
simply adding a calcium pill to your breakfast would kill the problem.

But... I am a big advocate of cross training. As good as cycling it is, it leaves some muscles weak. And if you do decide to cross train, adding a weight bearing exericse would make sense.

In addition to the running that was mentioned earlier, there are many other choices. Hiking is wonderful. I like going to the gym. You can walk up the stairs
of a tall building wearing a heavy backpack. You could buy a couple bags of kitty litter and do squats with the 50 pounds of kitty litter in your kitchen.
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Old 10-28-07, 02:15 AM   #24
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Hi,
seems likely we are simply washing calcium out of our system. If that is the case,
simply adding a calcium pill to your breakfast would kill the problem.
It's not just a matter of consuming more calcium, it's encouraging and calcium to be absorbed and to be incorporated into bone.

Higher impact and high strength (eg, jogging and weights) encourage the building of bone, whereas lower impacts activitites such as cycling don't stress the bone so much and don't have as much of an effect.

Although I do like that you are an advocate of cross training.

Thinking about it now, low impact sports for overweight people may be the equivalent of higher impact sports for a more average weighted person, simply becuase there is more weight behind the movement. These are just my thoughts and I am not sure if they have been proven.

And also, cycling is better than nothing!
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Old 10-28-07, 09:37 AM   #25
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I guess it's time to take up kickboxing.
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