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Targeted Exercises Can Boost Men’s Bone Health

Findings for weight-lifting, jump training in middle-aged men with osteopenia

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Resistance and “jump” training can improve bone health in moderately active middle-aged men with osteopenia, according to a small new study. The findings were published online July 16 in Bone.

The new study included 38 healthy, moderately active middle-aged men with osteopenia who followed a weight-lifting or jumping program for a year. In both exercise regimens, the men did 60 to 120 minutes of targeted workouts a week. The men also took calcium and vitamin D supplements. Their bone health was assessed at the start of the study and again at six and 12 months.

The researchers found that both groups had significant increases in the bone mineral density (BMD) of the whole body and lumbar spine at six months, and this increase was maintained at 12 months. Only those who did weight-lifting had increases in total hip BMD.

“Only the bone experiencing the mechanical load is going to get stronger, so we specifically chose exercises that would load the hip and the spine, which is why we had participants do squats, deadlifts, lunges, and the overhead press,” Pam Hinton, Ph.D., director of nutritional sciences graduate studies in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said in a university news release. “Also, the intensity of the loading needs to increase over time to build strength. Both of the training programs gradually increased in intensity, and our participants also had rest weeks. Bones need to rest to continue to maximize the response,” she added.

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