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Wait! I thought low impact was good for me!

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Wait! I thought low impact was good for me!

Old 01-30-19, 05:54 PM
  #1  
Ogsarg
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Wait! I thought low impact was good for me!

I don't know what to think of this. I am definitely not in the elite athlete category but you gotta wonder.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/w...s-at-risk.html
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Old 01-30-19, 06:34 PM
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Considering my alternative activity is sitting on the couch watching GoT and eating I'm not too concerned. it seems to say compared to running such and such about bone density but running comes with its own host of joint problems much less breaks cycling rule #16 thou shalt not run unless being chased. The way they phrase the headline as a question shows even the authors know it's a misleading title at best. it is not putting your bones at risk it just isn't making them as dense as running would. A simple example would be imagine i work out everyday for 1 hour, it does not mean i am getting weaker because i could have worked out for 2. there may be a sweet spot for maximum efficiency but that is wholly different than saying it causes harm.
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Old 01-30-19, 06:38 PM
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I do cycling, sea kayaking, running, skiing, skating and hiking
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Old 01-30-19, 06:51 PM
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The body is very parsimonious when it comes to bone management-- it's not going to build bone and muscle that isn't needed. If you're a runner and your bones are taking a pounding, that's the sort of activity that probably stimulates bone growth. I think there's a trade-off tho as far as sports you'd benefit by in later years-- you have to tolerate the pounding without incurring injuries if you're going to stay with the sport. My guess is a older cyclist probably will stay healthier cycling than a runner that can no longer run.
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Old 01-30-19, 07:12 PM
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This has been known for quite some time...there was a related thread in Training and Nutrition a few years back that has some additional information: Why Cycling is Bad for Bone Density and How You Can Improve It
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Old 01-30-19, 07:25 PM
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Yep, old news. This info has been around for a few years at least.
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Old 01-30-19, 07:39 PM
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The new news is that this study (obliquely referred to in the crappy and almost vacuous NYT article) is that stuff like weight-lifting isn't helping (or helping enough) to offset the problem, and that this is showing up in comparatively young people.

Link to PDF of the full article:
https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/b...00449.full.pdf
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Old 01-30-19, 08:42 PM
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This is just the sort of article that makes reading it a waste of time. It begins with all you need to know without the bother of reading. Can bone health be at risk for cyclists and kayakers? A new study says the answer might be yes. I assume, then, that it may also mean no, so shy bother going any further? Just journalists making copy and university researchers earning tenure or promotion. Best to go our for a ride and take the risk. A good question to ask is the reading of such articles putting your intelligence at risk. The answer might be yes.
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Old 01-30-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
The body is very parsimonious when it comes to bone management-- it's not going to build bone and muscle that isn't needed. If you're a runner and your bones are taking a pounding, that's the sort of activity that probably stimulates bone growth. I think there's a trade-off tho as far as sports you'd benefit by in later years-- you have to tolerate the pounding without incurring injuries if you're going to stay with the sport. My guess is a older cyclist probably will stay healthier cycling than a runner that can no longer run.
Runners who can no longer run usually take up cycling. There's a whole bunch of them here on BF. I don't count myself one of them...yet.
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Old 01-30-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The new news is that this study (obliquely referred to in the crappy and almost vacuous NYT article) is that stuff like weight-lifting isn't helping (or helping enough) to offset the problem, and that this is showing up in comparatively young people.

Link to PDF of the full article:
https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/b...00449.full.pdf
Thank you - that is helpful. I only read the crappy and vacuous NYT article
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Old 01-30-19, 08:51 PM
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What good are thick tibia and femur bones with a knee that needs replaced in between them?
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Old 01-30-19, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
This is just the sort of article that makes reading it a waste of time. It begins with all you need to know without the bother of reading. Can bone health be at risk for cyclists and kayakers? A new study says the answer might be yes. I assume, then, that it may also mean no, so shy bother going any further? Just journalists making copy and university researchers earning tenure or promotion. Best to go our for a ride and take the risk. A good question to ask is the reading of such articles putting your intelligence at risk. The answer might be yes.
Betteridge's law of headlines states that any headline which asks a question can be answered with "no."
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Old 01-30-19, 09:26 PM
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But does it?

Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Betteridge's law of headlines states that any headline which asks a question can be answered with "no."
So, it is but isnt correct. Lol
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Old 01-30-19, 09:44 PM
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What is new? (I sc****d this from the paper):

► Elite road cyclists have lower bone mineral density (BMD) compared with middle-distance and long-dis- tance elite runners, despite performing lower limb heavy resistance training. Ten of 19 cyclists were classified with low BMD.

► Low BMD was evident in male and female cyclists and affected the lumbar spine and the femoral neck.

► Type of sport was the only independent variable associated with low BMD.
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Old 01-30-19, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
What good are thick tibia and femur bones with a knee that needs replaced in between them?
Nothing wrong with my knees. OTOH,


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Old 01-30-19, 10:30 PM
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First of all, the condition of elite cyclists seems a rather odd sample to use to generalize. Second, this could be a classic correlation without causation situation. Athletes with lower bone density may avoid running if it makes them more prone to foot, ankle and leg injuries. The elite runners being studied may also be self-selected people with abnormal ability to maintain bone density as people who lack that ability might wash out of the sport.

The weight training aspect is interesting, but I wasn't doing it for that purpose and didn't know that anyone was. I can't run without screwing up my feet and ankles due to congenital problems, so I try to walk a fair amount on top of my biking to try to get some tolerable level of impact. I use the weights to build muscle.
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Old 01-30-19, 11:01 PM
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Thanks @wgscott for posting the link to the study. I'm now pretty convinced that this is something that shouldn't be generalized. What they're describing is bmd loss localized to the spine and neck, and weight resistance training that only involved the legs. So aren't the researchers just rediscovering that biking and leg training doesn't do much of anything for your upper body, and if you focus on lower body exclusively, the upper body suffers from the neglect?

They also didn't look at the dietary habits beyond calcium intake, but noted that athletes at this level often have eating disorders to try to keep their weight down.

The regimen of an elite cyclist is not one that promotes general fitness, but is specialized to promote a very specific type of performance. I don't think we should be surprised that competition at this extreme level is not particularly good for general health.
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Old 01-30-19, 11:03 PM
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It is the neck of the femor, not cervical vertebrae
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Old 01-30-19, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It is the neck of the femor, not cervical vertebrae
Whooooops! I'm not a doctor but I like to quack on the interwebs. Thanks for the correction.


I did reread the part on weight training, and they point out that they only do it 2-4 months of the year, and it lacks any specific info on what the training consists of. So really, all the study can indicate is that the very limited weight training program of the Norwegian cycling team does not seem to promote bmd retention.

Don't quit biking yet!
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Old 01-30-19, 11:32 PM
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I've done a lot of riding over the past 50+ years. Every time I get X-rays, I hear yet again of my less than dense bones. I now break bones in falls that I would have walked away from years ago. I didn't read that article, but I've read a few. They are for real. I now do a little lifting of free weights and maybe that will delay the process a little (though my incentive is more for strengthening shoulders that have seen too many bike crashes).

Ben
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Old 01-30-19, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I've done a lot of riding over the past 50+ years. Every time I get X-rays, I hear yet again of my less than dense bones. I now break bones in falls that I would have walked away from years ago. I didn't read that article, but I've read a few. They are for real. I now do a little lifting of free weights and maybe that will delay the process a little (though my incentive is more for strengthening shoulders that have seen too many bike crashes).

Ben
The reason that anecdote isn't considered proof is that there's no way of knowing whether your biking had any effect on your bone density. It might have been better or worse or exactly the same if you had never biked, and we really can't run that experiment without a time machine. I say that not to put you down, but just because I hope you aren't feeling regret over choosing to bike because you really can't know that it has anything to do with that problem.

The crashes are a different matter! I'm pretty sure causation is rather obvious there.

I hope the weights help!
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Old 01-31-19, 12:26 AM
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"The Best Bone Building Exercise

The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones."

https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-inf...ur-bone-health
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Old 01-31-19, 12:49 AM
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What about standing up when you are attacking hills? Why is that any less weight-bearing than hiking up a hill?
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Old 01-31-19, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Nothing wrong with my knees. OTOH,



Well...there is that
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Old 01-31-19, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I don't know what to think of this. I am definitely not in the elite athlete category but you gotta wonder.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/w...s-at-risk.html
Old study. Old news.

We cyclists have known this for the last decade or two already.


Oh look ... a NY Times article from 2009. Fancy that. A decade ago.

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/...or-your-bones/


And here's a study from 2000 ... almost 2 decades ago!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10949001



And if you google 'cycling and bone density' you'll see pages of articles on the subject. Common knowledge.

Last edited by Machka; 01-31-19 at 02:00 AM.
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