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Weight Lifting and Jumping Exercises May Improve Bone Mass in Men

Men naturally lose bone mass they get older, putting them at risk of developing osteoporosis. Approximately 2 million men in the US have osteoporosis and 16 million more have low bone mass. A recent study suggests that lifting weights and performing jumping exercises may improve bone density and lower the risk of osteoporosis in middle-aged men with low bone mass.

Participants in the study included 38 physically active, middle-aged men who did either a weight-lifting program or a jumping program that included 60-120 minutes of targeted exercises per week for a year. All of the participants took calcium and vitamin D supplements during the training period.

The researchers measured bone mass at the onset, the six-month mark, and the conclusion of the study. They used X-rays of the whole body, hip, and lumbar spine to measure bone density.

At the six-month mark, the researchers noted increased bone mass of the whole body and of the lumbar spine in both groups. The improvements were still present at the conclusion of the study. However, only the weight-lifting group had improvements in hip-bone density.

Both groups also had significant increases in osteocalcin and decreases in CTx.  CTx is a new marker of bone resorption.

The participants reported minimal pain and fatigue during the training program and measures of both decreased as the year progressed.

Researchers from the University of Missouri conducted the study. It was published in the October 2015 issue of the journal Bone.

Staying active is important for more than just bone strength. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise can reduce the risk of dying prematurely, help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health and improve respiratory health. The researchers in this study recommended that people take a look at their current activity levels, exercise preferences, and time and equipment constraints when deciding what kind of bone-strengthening activity is best for them.

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