Washington: A new study has shown that lifelong physical activity can help men build stronger bones.
The University of Missouri study found that individuals who continuously participated in high-impact activities, such as jogging and tennis, during adolescence and young adulthood, had greater hip and lumbar spine bone mineral density than those who did not.
Researcher Pamela Hinton said that while osteoporosis is commonly associated with only post-menopausal women, it is, in fact, a serious issue for men as well, adding that the research has shown that the consequences of osteoporosis can be much worse for men, as they are less likely to be diagnosed and are at a greater mortality risk from fractures that occur as a result of a fall.
In the study, Hinton analyzed data from the physical histories of 203 males aged 30-65 years. Participants' sports and exercise histories varied, both in type and level of activity, and the length of time spent doing various physical activities also differed.
The most important take-away is that if you are healthy, it is never too late to begin high-impact activities or resistance training to improve bone mineral density, Hinton said.
Hinton noted that while activity during skeletal growth is significant, they also saw positive associations between such physical activity and bone density at all ages. So even middle-aged men who spent their teenage years sitting on the couch could see benefits from beginning a bone-strengthening exercise program.
The study is published in the American Journal of Men's Health.