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Lower Bone Density from Cycling

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Lower Bone Density from Cycling

Old 07-02-09, 12:30 PM
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Lower Bone Density from Cycling

This has been discussed before but here is an article from the NY Times.

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...your-bones/?em

Summary...cycling may reduce bone density leading to increased bone damage when crashing but may be mitigated by weight lifting, running, other impact producing activities, supplements at the right time and weight control.
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Old 07-02-09, 02:11 PM
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I've had my bone density checked recently. It was 110% of normal for someone my age. The rub is the extra calcium is from arthritic deposits and not actual bone.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:02 PM
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That's why I jog and lift weights.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:09 PM
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Jumping rope is also good!

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Old 07-02-09, 03:10 PM
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The article is misleading. You don't get lower bone density from cycling. It 's just that road cycling does not stress the bones sufficiently to keep them strong and counter the natural bone strength loss with ageing. Also, it's no just a "density" issue. The internal structure of the bone degenerates as well. That's why bone-density scans are useless (no correlation) in prediction bone strength or susceptibility to bone breakage.

One's bone strength at a particular age depends not only on what activities a person is engaged in at the the time, but what activities were pursued from childhood to the mid 20's(?) when ones bones were formed. A sedentary youth is not good as you don't start with a healthy bone mass and structure to begin with.

Jogging is particularly good for lower body bone health due to the high shock loads. Weight training apparently is only effective for relatively heavy weights: Like 5 or 6 reps to failure (or less) type of lifting according to the limited data available.

Mountain biking on rough trails is better than road cycling, but still insufficient to counter the effects bone strength loss due to aging.

There is some evidence that a diet high in meat protein causes too much acid and the body leaches calcium from the bones to balance the pH with out replacing all the bone calcium. This effect apparently does not occur with vegetable protein. It's still not conclusively proven, but heavy meat eaters seem to have more of a problem.

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Old 07-02-09, 07:28 PM
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I sure hope bouncing around in a golf cart is worth something!!
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Old 07-02-09, 07:33 PM
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after looking at this the last time it came up, it just reflects the fact that we sweat a lot. The exact same level of bone density loss was measured in basketball players, people who get plenty of high impact exercise. The link to low impact exercise is due to faulty logic among attention seeking researchers. The answer is to drink milk. If you can't do that, take up knitting.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
I sure hope bouncing around in a golf cart is worth something!!
It may. I am going to add 30 miles of Paris Roubaix type roads to my riding each week.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:39 PM
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As someone said: This came up before. however this is interesting to this group of 50+.
I hike a lot including rock climbing. Problem is that this causes its own problems with wear and tear. Jogging is not good for 50+ as we all know.
Swimming is great if you have the opportunity. Kayak is great for upper body. Nothing is perfect.
Biking is great for CV and attitude. Not great for bone density.
Doing nothing is the worst. I do not like to talk about all the friends I know who suffer the consequences of inactivity.
The trick is to find balance in life. Greater people then me have said that.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
after looking at this the last time it came up, it just reflects the fact that we sweat a lot. The exact same level of bone density loss was measured in basketball players, people who get plenty of high impact exercise. The link to low impact exercise is due to faulty logic among attention seeking researchers. The answer is to drink milk. If you can't do that, take up knitting.
The dairy associations aside, population studies indicate that those countries with the highest dairy consumption have the highest bone breakage rates. Again, bone density does not correlate to bone breakage. Bone density does not measure the internal structure of bone which greatly affects breakage. Bone is not a hollow tube.

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Old 07-03-09, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
I sure hope bouncing around in a golf cart is worth something!!
Yes, if it's on a mountain bike trail .
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Old 07-03-09, 07:29 AM
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This is in proportion to how much a weight weenie you are, right?

After all bones are the heaviest structural parts. In order to further save weight the brain of the weight weenie actually cause decalcification to "shave off a few grams".

The obvious answer is titanium or carbon fiber bones.
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Old 07-03-09, 07:56 AM
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Your body develops based on the SAID principle: Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, which means that bones, muscle, tendons, etc, develop based on the demands placed on them, therefore, the pounding on the spine can help to make it stronger, the legs will become stronger as will the bones, so I'm curious about the methodology used in this research. Walking will do some, running will do more, weight lifting will do more, but riding will build the muscles and bones to be more specific for riding, which is why cross training is beneficial.

Collar bones are very thin and easy to break, and if the method of injury is similar when a bicyclist crashes, then that injury will become common.

I'd take this research with a grain of salt. It is better to cross train to keep overall health and bone/muscle strength, but it seems strange that cycling would cause more problems than someone who is sedentary.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:07 AM
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The real problem is avoiding falls. One school of thought says that all the fracture reduction in various sports is due to increasing muscle strength to prevent falls and nothing to do with the strength or density of the bones. We just have to accept that at some point in our lives we will have a fall that fractures bones, possibly a hip. All we are talking about is ways to push that point older, so we can wipe out on a steep descent, break our necks, and go out thinking "what a ride".
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Old 07-03-09, 08:19 AM
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I'm wondering if i should remove the "Zertz inserts" from my bike?
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Old 07-03-09, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
I'm wondering if i should remove the "Zertz inserts" from my bike?
That is a great idea. I may consider buying one of the first generation Klein aluminum frames with the oversized tubes and aluminum fork. That will certainly add some impact to my cycling routine. Although, I may be seeing my dentist more often.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
I'm wondering if i should remove the "Zertz inserts" from my bike?
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
That is a great idea. I may consider buying one of the first generation Klein aluminum frames with the oversized tubes and aluminum fork. That will certainly add some impact to my cycling routine. Although, I may be seeing my dentist more often.
Bone density be damned. I'm not giving up my titanium bike!
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Old 07-03-09, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tex_Arcana View Post
This is in proportion to how much a weight weenie you are, right?

After all bones are the heaviest structural parts. In order to further save weight the brain of the weight weenie actually cause decalcification to "shave off a few grams".

The obvious answer is titanium or carbon fiber bones.
Wrong, wrong, WRONG! The answer to weight-weenie-itis weakening your bones is to junk your titanium, carbon fiber, or even aluminum bikes & ride a good ol' Schwinn Varsity. Or a steel cruiser.

(For MTBers, an old steel Trek 820 Antelope might do the trick.)

Last edited by bcoppola; 07-03-09 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
That is a great idea. I may consider buying one of the first generation Klein aluminum frames with the oversized tubes and aluminum fork. That will certainly add some impact to my cycling routine. Although, I may be seeing my dentist more often.
I think the $78 aluminum frame from Pricepiont and the $79 Cf/Al fork from Nashbar which that I recently purchased, to replace my 99' Cannondale R600 frame and fork, accomplished the same. I can feel an ant being squished under the wheels but I now have a great crit bike that I can wreck and not feel any guilt.
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Old 07-03-09, 08:47 AM
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I'm wondering if i should remove the "Zertz inserts" from my bike?
Yes, you will greatly improve the bone density in your sit bones.
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Old 07-03-09, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
Jogging is not good for 50+ as we all know.
Really? I jog regularly. Am I hurting myself? Don't want to do that. Do you have any reference to support this statement?
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Old 07-03-09, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Skivvy9r View Post
Really? I jog regularly. Am I hurting myself? Don't want to do that. Do you have any reference to support this statement?
There is nothing wrong with jogging in appropriate shoes on a somewhat resilient surface, but jogging on concrete can indeed be hard on various parts of the legs.

The other big culprit in bone loss is soft drinks. Heavy coffee consumption has also been implicated.
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Old 07-03-09, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
There is nothing wrong with jogging in appropriate shoes on a somewhat resilient surface, but jogging on concrete can indeed be hard on various parts of the legs.

The other big culprit in bone loss is soft drinks. Heavy coffee consumption has also been implicated.
Jogging causes damage to some while others are immune irrespective of the surface. According to Tim Noakes MD, in Lore of Running, 4th edition, it's not known why. It's definitely age independent. I started jogging again about 6 months ago as a gap filler to my cycling and weight training. I'm 70. I run on asphalt with absolutely no issues.

The fad now is to run barefoot or with thin-soled shoes. That's based on research by an Ontario prof. who blames running shoes for many of the injuries. Barefoot eliminates the heel striking first which is a problem for some. "Appropriate" depends on the approach and the individual.

I use a relatively hard-soled running shoe, keep the knees slightly bent at all times and lean forward slightly. Reduces heel-strike shock and feels really good. I'm over the coming-up to speed hump and starting to actually enjoy running.

Too many things are blamed on age with out a credible basis. Many use it as an excuse/cop-out. Most of the time, age-blamed problems are due to inactivity both when old and when considerably younger.


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Old 07-04-09, 09:14 PM
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Sorry if I offended joggers.
I am very well aware that there are joggers of all ages. I see them all the time and the news are full of Marathons by 50+.
-----------------
That being said I have lots of company in having to give up jogging over age 50+. This is my problem in that I am relatively heavy. My weight is just under 200# and with difficulties 190#. Height is 6ft, 2" and waist is 34". I am very CV fit thanks to biking. I did 130 miles today at top speed.
--------------
Jogging or running 6 miles on hard surfaces kills me. I bought the best shoes money can buy. I can do 6 miles on a cushioned Treadmill without ill effect.
I found my story repeated often in conversations with bikers but I do not have formal research data.
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Old 07-04-09, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by alcanoe View Post
The fad now is to run barefoot or with thin-soled shoes. That's based on research by an Ontario prof. who blames running shoes for many of the injuries. Barefoot eliminates the heel striking first which is a problem for some. "Appropriate" depends on the approach and the individual.
Recent article on that very topic here:


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/mosl...ste-money.html
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