Running can have positive effect on Bone Health

Running can have positive effect on Bone Health

Building adequate bone mass at young age is essential, as your bones lose density making them weak as you get older. It is known that weight-bearing exercises improves bones density and makes them stronger. Running is the other effective physical activity to include in your fitness routine to build strong bones and maintain bone health, says a new study.

Non-weight-bearing exercises such as cycling and swimming though helps you to control and maintain weight, cannot build bone density as effectively as running, said the research author from Giovanni Lombardi from Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi in Italy.

Non-weight bearing activities aids in maintaining good health, but individual who are at risk of weaker bones need to take up running rather than swimming or cycling to improve their bone health, as exercise can further increase strain on bones

The researchers conducted the study by involving 17 trained runners as participants, and examining them before and after a 65-km mountain ultramarathon run, measuring their glucagon, leptin and insulin levels, which aids in regulating metabolism as well as levels of osteocalcin and P1NP (proteins associated with bone formation).

The study team has examined the same with other group of 12 participants of same age, who have partaken in low to moderate physical exercise, but did not take running.

The team has claimed that an increased insulin and leptin level shows the sign of adequate or excessive energy levels, while the increased glucagon levels shows the sign of energy demand.

When the researchers compared the hormones and bone constituents of the two groups participants, they found that the ultramarathon runners had higher levels of glucagon and lower levels of leptin and insulin when finishing the race compared to the exercise group.

The decreases levels of insulin lead to reduced levels of both osteocalcin and P1NP in ultramarathon runners, concluding that athletes transform their energy from bone formation to power the high-energy demands of the metabolism.

The runners however had higher P1NP levels at rest compared to other group, indicating that they can transform the energy from bones during racing, but are also being benefitted with bone health in the long-term.

The team further added that comparably, running exerts more physical load on bones than the swimming or cycling, and there by these forces stimulate bone tissue to signal to the pancreas and aids in meeting energy demand for longer periods.

“Our work has shown that bones aren’t just lying idle, but are actively communicating with other organs and tissues to drive the body’s energy needs,” Lombardi said.

The research team has presented their findings at the 2016 European Congress of Endocrinology in Munich, Germany.

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