How to Prevent Bone Loss
The February 21, 2010 issue of the Harvard Medical
Adviser offers women a way to preventing osteoporosis
in just three words:
“Stress bearing exercise”
This key to preventing osteoporosis is a secret learned
from astronauts who returned to earth after long missions.
Some space travelers spending time in zero gravity were
crippled and had to be held up after returning to earth.
Astronauts lose between one and two percent of their
bone density for every month that they spend in space
because they are outside of earth’s strong gravitational
pull and receive little or no stress bearing exercise.
Many lifestyle factors accelerate bone loss. See:
These bone-weakening factors include smoking cigarettes,
drinking beverages containing caffeine, consuming animal
protein, and not allowing the bones in your body to
remain healthy with enough stress-bearing exercise. When
it comes to astronauts with bone disease, it’s a matter
of extreme gravity. When it comes to osteoporosis, exercise
and gravity seem to play a major role, if not THE major
role in preventing bone loss.
The March 20, 2008 issue of Osteoporosis International
included a study in which bone density of senior athletes
was compared to sedentary couch potato-people.
Scientists measured bone density in athletes competing in
running and swimming events to the control group composed
of non-exercisers and found that total bone mineral density
was greatest among runners.
Study participants were recruited from a group of athletes
who participated in the annual senior olympics. The study
included 44 runners, 43 swimmers, and 87 non-athletes.
“These findings suggest that moderate impact exercise
contributes to skeletal integrity in older age.”