Tuesday, September 05, 2006

thinning bones

A couple years' back, an article in Bicycling magazine warned about the dangers of bone thinning in cyclists (WHY YOU NEED TO BONE UP..., March 2004 - Bicycling Magazine, by Roy M. Wallack). There are quite a few reports of reputable studies on the subect including these two: Cycling and osteoporosis and
Cyclists May Risk Bone Loss.

The current issue of Bicycling Magazine has yet another warning: "Cycling is one of the best exercises for every part of body except the one that holds it all together: your skeleton. Studies show that some of the most elite riders have the weakest bones. Even passionate enthusiasts riding about 12 hours a week can have bone densities 10 percent lower than their active, noncycling peers."

The item caught my eye because I do five to seven hours of cycling a week, maybe 5,000 miles a year. And, last winter, a Dexascan showed that I have suffered bone loss. I'm now taking Fosamax and do doing weight-bearing exercises including weight lifting and lots of stair climbing (I stopped using the elevators in the building where I work). The condition I have is called osteopenia, which is simply bone loss short of the amount defined as osteoporosis.

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