Exercises could reverse bone loss in middle-aged men

Specific exercises targeted to areas of the body promoted growth that could be seen in 6 to 12 months.
By Stephen Feller   |   July 14, 2015 at 6:18 PM

COLUMBIA, Mo., July 14 (UPI) -- If healthy, middle-aged men do certain types of weight-lifting and jumping exercises, for at least 6 months, they can reverse age-related bone loss.

Researchers said that targeted exercises for 90 to 120 minutes per day were enough to facilitate bone growth.

"Our study is the first to show that exercise-based interventions work to increase bone density in middle-aged men with low bone mass who are otherwise health," said Pam Hinton, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri, in a press release. These exercises could be prescribed to reverse bone loss associated with aging."

In the study, researchers tracked 38 physically active, middle-aged men who completed a six-month weightlifting or jumping program for a year. They measured the men's bone mass at the beginning of he study, six months after the program ended, and 12 months after the program ended.

The researchers found that bone mass of the whole body and lumbar spine significantly increased after six months and that the increase had maintained at the 12-month check as well.

Hinton said the study also showed that not all exercises would result in increasing bone mass, but rather targeted ones that put pressure on bones to promote growth.

"Individuals don't typically have to know they have heart disease, high blood pressure or prediabetes to start exercising – they do it as prevention," Hinton said. "Similarly, individuals don't have to know they have osteoporosis to start lifting weights."

"The interventions we studied are effective, safe and take 60-120 minutes per week to complete, which is feasible for most people. Also, the exercises can be done at home and require minimal exercise equipment, which adds to the ease of implementing and continuing these interventions."

The study is published in Bone.

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