The home stretch: Endurance running can make your bones denser
If going to a gym every day is not your game, here’s why you should at least think on the lines of endurance running. A new study has analysed the effect of endurance running training on the stiffness index, a variable that is directly related to bone quality.health and fitness Updated: Apr 21, 2016 11:23 IST
If going to a gym every day is not your game, here’s why you should at least think on the lines of endurance running. A new study has analysed the effect of endurance running training on the stiffness index, a variable that is directly related to bone quality.
The results confirm that the greater the race distance that is trained, the better; this can be used, therefore, to prevent the progressive decline in bone mineral density that occurs with age.
The research, lead by Camilo Jose Cela University, determined how training to compete in endurance races can modify the mechanical properties of the calcaneus, a bone in the foot that forms the heel.
The changes in the mechanical properties of the bone were measured using the stiffness or rigidity index, a variable that is directly related to the bone density of the calcaneus. Author Beatriz Lara said that the results showed that the endurance runners had a greater stiffness index than the sedentary individuals.
Lara added that it was also possible to confirm a dose-response relationship, meaning that greater amounts of training correspond to a greater improvement in the mineral density of the calcaneus. The scientists assert that training for endurance races is effective in producing physical changes in the physical properties of the calcaneus; hence, this can be used to prevent the progressive decline in bone mineral quality that occurs with age.
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Lara said that sports such as swimming or skating, in which body weight or impact loading are reduced, do not generate high osteogenic benefits. Nevertheless, the effect that endurance running training may have on our bones is not yet known -while it does not entail high impacts, it does require running long distances. The study appears in the journal European Journal of Applied Physiology.