Reports that Bicycle Riding May Be Hazardous To Bones

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The Natural Way To Keep You Informed

“Cycling is an enjoyable sport that no one needs to give up for bone health. Although, I recommend to stay hydrated, get enough calcium, do other bone-building exercise, and get a DEXA scan every year over age 50.” Mark Bromson, M.D.

In a recent newsletter, states that frequent bicycling could be hazardous to the health of bones if measures are not taken to prevent damage. They cite research done in 2006, by University of Oklahoma graduate student Aaron Smathers, which revealed that avid cyclists tended to have more brittle bones and fractures. Even superstar cyclists Lance Armstrong and Christian VandenVelde had suffered serious bone fractures in race crashes and were found to have decreased bone density.

In addition, states, numerous research studies done since Smathers original work, have shown similar results: cyclists have less bone density than participants in other sports. resident orthopedic expert, Mark Bromson, M.D., explains the possible association between cycling and decreased bone density: “Though researchers have not been able to find a definitive cause/effect for cyclists having decreased bone density, a few things can contribute to it. First, bicycling does not stress bones and, therefore, does not stimulate bone growth like other feet-hitting-ground sports. Second, significant calcium loss can occur from sweating during vigorous cycling/spinning – up to 100 mg calcium per hour. Third, cycling can result in significant weight loss that may also include muscle mass loss. Bones need muscle mass to grow and if it is decreased, bone density can suffer.”

Read more about cycling and bone health here.

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Colleen Hager
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