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Can running protect bone health?

Can running protect bone health?
Highlights

When we are active in any form, even simple jogging, bones will absorb extra minerals and provide the necessary strength our body needs

Osteoporosis is one of the leading causes of fractures in post-menopausal women and elderly people.

Dr. Amite Pankaj Agarwal, Director, Orthopedics, Fortis Hospital talks about the best ways to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Regular exercise is the key to bone health even in pre-existing osteoporosis. It helps maintain bone mass. We may not realize but even daily workouts and habits have a direct impact on our bone strength. Minerals resorption and absorption is a continuous process in our body which goes on side by side. When we are active in any form, even simple jogging, bones will absorb extra minerals and provide the necessary strength our body needs. While, the lack of enough exercises will lead to continuous resorption and continuous shedding of minerals which ultimately leads to thinner, fragile and bones which are more likely to break due to increased holes and porosity.

Although different exercise routines are always trending to increase bone mass density like weight bearing, resistance, stretching and flexibility, but recent studies show that even a "brief duration" of high intensity, high impact weight bearing exercise such as jogging, running or even jumping for few seconds can promote better bone health and increased remodelling of bones.

Using data from different countries, including our own, researchers found that women who participated in 1- 2 minutes of high intensity, brief duration weight bearing activities per day had better bone health than those who experienced less than one minute of similar activity. People who participated in over two minutes of activity benefitted even more, with a 6 percent increase in bone health.

People who get enough exercise can have bones that are up to 10 percent thicker than the bones of people who rarely, if ever, exercise. That might not sound good and enough, but even a small increase in bone mass density can greatly reduce the risk of broken bones.

We are not sure whether it is better to justify this small amount of exercise in short bursts throughout each day or all at once, and whether a slightly longer duration of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as 1-2 minutes a day, but there is a clear link says high- intensity, weight-bearing exercise leads to better bone health.

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