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An Article you Should Read Regarding Bicycling and Osteoporosis

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An Article you Should Read Regarding Bicycling and Osteoporosis

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Old 10-31-05, 06:55 AM
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DnvrFox
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An Article you Should Read Regarding Bicycling and Osteoporosis

An Article you Should Read Regarding Bicycling and Osteoporosis
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Old 10-31-05, 08:28 AM
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This is a major part of why I do strength training regularly even during the season. Weight bearing exercise is essential, and cycling, sadly, doesn't quite cut it.
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Old 10-31-05, 09:47 AM
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I find these types of stories to be unnecessarily alarmist, because they ignore the positive effects of everyday activity. If I walk a mile or so a day, mow the lawn on weekends, shovel some snow, wash the car, lift my kids into the air 3-4 times a day, and then go ride my bike on hilly roads 40-50 miles on a Sunday, am I at risk for osteoporosis?

Although I did like seeing this item:

7. STAND UP MORE OFTEN ON THE BIKE. It loads weight on your legs.
I stand for hills all the time, so I guess that's good. Standing while climbing also works your arms.
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Old 10-31-05, 10:11 AM
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Also, there has been a trial where calcium supplementation
quickly reversed bone loss. Calcium is easy to find ( calcium in milk is not all that easily absorbed ). Most antacids have calcium.
I take a Cal/Mag/Zinc which has stuff that helps you use calcium
http://www.anrminerals.com/html/TR_prod_calmgzinc.html
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Old 10-31-05, 10:50 AM
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Outside magazine has a similar article by what I'm assuming is the same author Roy Wallack (No middle initial M). The stories have slightly different plots and characters so it may be as Va Cyclist is saying the author is trying to be an alarmist. But you cannot disregard his advice that is good. Have a variety of activities, weight bearing and aerobic and to eat a balanced diet that has enough calcium.
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Old 10-31-05, 11:07 AM
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I was somewhat apprehensive about this problem, so I got tested... I lay down on a table, and they x-rayed several key bones, and determined my bone density...

and the answer was, NORMAL, so I'm not doing anything out-of-the-ordinary that I don't want to do.

Can't toss my kid in the air, he weighs 125 lbs.
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Old 10-31-05, 11:34 AM
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I would say a study group of 27 is insufficient...
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Old 10-31-05, 08:46 PM
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That's a pretty good article. Some of reading I've done, states that it's important to introduce Calcium DURING exercise if it is to be of the greatest value is limiting bone density loss.

Calcium, has not been shown to "reverse" bone density loss in mature adults. It can only "limit" bone density changes. If someone has evidence contrary to this, please post a link to you data.

Keep in mind there are more factors than "density" in determining overall bone health.
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Old 10-31-05, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by late
Also, there has been a trial where calcium supplementation
quickly reversed bone loss. Calcium is easy to find ( calcium in milk is not all that easily absorbed ). Most antacids have calcium.
I take a Cal/Mag/Zinc which has stuff that helps you use calcium
http://www.anrminerals.com/html/TR_prod_calmgzinc.html
Adding Calcium late won't help. Adding mineral calcium actually increased fracture rates in studies of elderly with osteoporosis. The bones gained calcium mass but also became more brittle.
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Old 11-01-05, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
That's a pretty good article. Some of reading I've done, states that it's important to introduce Calcium DURING exercise if it is to be of the greatest value is limiting bone density loss.

Calcium, has not been shown to "reverse" bone density loss in mature adults. It can only "limit" bone density changes. If someone has evidence contrary to this, please post a link to you data.

Keep in mind there are more factors than "density" in determining overall bone health.
Exactly, calcium-intake only slows down or at best, stops the bone-density loss, it doesn't do anything to improve it. Only load-bearing workouts that stresses the bones beyond current will increase its strength & density, and only up to a point where it can deal with the extra load. I wonder how many of these 27 bikers are racers that do weekly sprints and hill-intervals? Or if they're part of the weekend-warrior crowd that rides 100-miles a week with plenty of coffee and lunch breaks?
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Old 11-01-05, 07:51 PM
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Well,
first, I find it hard to get terribly excited over this. If you do nothing but cycling, that would be different. Try hiking, I love it.
I love backpacking too. You want stress? Throw 20-30 pounds on your back and climb a mountain. As would be vigorous downhill skiing, gym workouts, and a few other things. Take a hike!
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Old 11-01-05, 10:45 PM
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Denver:
Thank you for the warning.
It stands to reason that biking (done to excess and exclusive) will have detrimental effects just as any sport has. Compare to Soccer, Football, Running, Basket Ball, Swimming, Judo, Weight Lifting, etc.

This is not THE problem for people around me in this area. These people are totally inactive, overweight (obese), smokers, heavy drinkers, high blood pressure, depressed and other mental problems not fit for this forum.

Any excuse will be enthusiastically repeated and used to justify their non-activity.

I do agree with the warning and did go on a 12 mile hike today. I could have biked.
I noticed that exclusive and excessive biking causes problems in my leg joints for hiking and I do not want that.
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Old 11-02-05, 08:24 PM
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I worry about it as well, and in the off season i work out at the gym and run. Women with slimmer builds are more likely to get osteoporosis, and I think it's also that a lot of male cyclists are pretty skinny themselves that it might be a problem. The good thing is that we get vitamin D from the sun. In the offseason, it's a good idea to take vitamin D supplements, which I do. Fortunately, it doesn't run in my family, which is another factor. Let's just all remember not to wait until it's too late, and that it isn't just for old ladies!
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Old 11-03-05, 12:50 AM
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I dont see how we can be at higher risk than the average american who doesnt walk much and drives everywhere. I mean climbing hills and sprinting are not maintaning bone mass???
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Old 11-03-05, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by adamfresno
I dont see how we can be at higher risk than the average american who doesnt walk much and drives everywhere. I mean climbing hills and sprinting are not maintaning bone mass???
I am also wondering about that.
Unless we loose a lot of calcium going all day long on repeated centuries.
Perhaps we are sweating out more calcium than we can reasonable replace?

These cross America Tour operators should know that. (I wonder if they do?)
Certainly TDF participants should know and what do they do? Does anyone know?
I mean, the TDF bikers must be living on their bikes and I have not heard that their bones are breaking or that they all get shriveled up in old age.
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Old 11-03-05, 08:27 PM
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Actually, though, they DO break collarbones rather frequently, if you think about it.

And, I think they do say that sweat does contain calcium.

I 'treat' myself to the chocolate and caramel calcium chews. I say, "Calci-YUM!"
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Old 11-03-05, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedal Wench
Actually, though, they DO break collarbones rather frequently, if you think about it.

And, I think they do say that sweat does contain calcium.

I 'treat' myself to the chocolate and caramel calcium chews. I say, "Calci-YUM!"
OK, I am not arguing, I am inquiring.
Do they break collar bones because of lack of upper body exercise OR because of calcium deprivation?
My legs are very strong and muscular (190++lb.) My arms need improvement. I simply cannot get my-selves to do a lot of upper body exercise.
I am now thinking I should. I also always have thought that milk, cheese and yoghourt have a place in a diet. What do you think?
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Old 11-03-05, 09:52 PM
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Weak bones are not CAUSED by riding a bike. But, folks whose only form of exercise is riding a bike are candidates for weak bones. Cycling simply does not "stress" the hips, the spine, and other bones in the way that "high impact" sports do (running, jogging) nor build bone mass as weight lifting does.

I HATE every form of exercise other than riding a bike. But, I do try to walk thirty minutes to an hour a day at a good pace...of some modest value. But, as I get deeper into my AARP years, I'm gonna have to get over my dislike of exercise. Lift some weights...gotta do it...don't have to be happy about it.

"Bike for Life" by Wallack and Katovsky discusses a number of "elite" cyclists whose careers came to a premature end because of osteoporosis: Rob Templin, RAAM rider. Pete Penseyres, with half a million miles on a bike. Rob Breedlove, with a transcontinental record for age 50 plus.

And, Cris Boardman...dangerously weak bones at a shockingly young age 32. Norba rider Tammy Jacques at age 35.

Each of those elite cyclists could have extended their careers with regular weight work beginning in their twenties and thirties. But, by the time they discovered the weak conditon of their bones...it was a bit too late.

Note: as best I can tell, each of the elite cyclists known to have problems with weak bones are of European descent. Many African-Americans continue to have strong bones throughout their lifespans. Although my mother had an African-American grandmother, she began to evidence severe problems related to loss of bone density at around age sixty. The only way an individual can know their own status is to do bone density testing.

For many cyclists, the solution is lots of weight bearing exercise, including weight lifting. And, some may need the further benefit of drugs such as Fosamax.

One bone builder you CAN do on a bike: ride off the saddle. Stand up and really pound on the pedals. This "jogging on a bike" puts all of your weight on your legs and will help build muscle and pound. About ten minutes of hard work standing up can be more tiring than riding an hour sitting down...a good workout for the heart and lungs too.

I try to ride about one minute out of every ten minutes standing up...it helps with blood circulation and with numbness in the bottom and crotch area as well.

The book "Bike for Life" by Roy Wallack and Bill Katovsky is unique among cycling books. The authors assume that cycling can be a lifelong activity, not just a sport for the young. And, they think cycling can build someone's health, IF (and only IF) it is part of an over-all healthy lifestyle: better nutrition....stress reduction strategies...weight training.

And, the authors cite some riders who are going strong at ages eighty and ninety as proof that combining cycling, nutrition, stress reduction, and weight training means you have a shot at riding a century when the day comes that you celebrate completing a century of living.

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Old 11-03-05, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Weak bones are not CAUSED by riding a bike. But, folks whose only form of exercise is riding a bike are candidates for weak bones.
Dear God, now you DO have me worried. Is this Gospel? How come this comes up now?
Thanks for this info if true. I still do not understand the multitudes of non active people. How come?
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Old 11-04-05, 06:31 AM
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studies in mountain bikers show different. we have better bone densities than pure roadies.

besides, this does not extrapolate to recreational bicyclists (not a longitudinal study). Like the study says, it does not control for dietary intake etc. I'd be curious to see how we recreational/partially serious bikers make out. By the way, i have a bone density machin in my office and I tested myself when this first came out. T score in the positive range. No problemo.
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Old 11-09-05, 09:16 PM
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Pick your poison.

Do you want screwed up knees, but stronger bones... or good knees, but bones like a couch potato.


I just started biking and running to get more fit and lose the last 6-9 pounds of fat.
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