Did you know that...

Valentin Belz 8. March 2022

Foto: iStock.com/Mladen Zivkovic

…You can strengthen ageing bones with intensive training?

A decrease in the structure, density and strength of our bones is a normal part of the ageing process and is reflected, for example, in the fact that elderly people are more susceptible to bone fractures than younger people. It is commonly known that exercise at any age can slow down this process. Particularly suitable are sports in which the entire weight of the body puts a load on the skeleton and trains the muscles. For example, walking, jogging, strength training or strength-enhancing gymnastics.

Finnish scientists have now been able to prove that the intensity of training has a decisive influence on ageing bones. The scientists studied people aged 40 to 85 over a ten-year period. There were two groups: Group 1 trained at least twice a week, doing sprints and strength training in addition to endurance training, whereas Group 2 trained less than twice a week and «only» did endurance training. After ten years, the bone values (structure, density, and strength) of Group 1 were up to 5% better than the athletes that only did endurance training.

What can we learn from this?

  • Exercise is a panacea. In the right dosage, it can also counteract osteoporosis.
  • The result of this Finnish study is another argument in favour of supplementing your endurance training with weekly strength exercises.
  • Athletes who do gentle sports such as swimming or cycling are well advised to supplement these with running or strength training.
Foto: iStock.com/Mladen Zivkovic