, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 411-414

The effects of walking at the anaerobic threshold level on vertebral bone loss in postmenopausal women

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Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal intensity of exercise necessary to prevent the postmenopausal bone loss on the basis of anaerobic threshold (AT). Thirty-three postmenopausal women were randomized to control (group C: n=12) or two exercise groups (group H and group M). All women performed a treadmill exercise test, and the AT was measured by expired gas analysis. The exercise regimen consisted mainly of walking at a speed that kept the exercise heart rate above the AT (group H: n=12) or below the AT (group M: n=9). Exercise was performed for 30 minutes, three times a week for 7 months. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar vertebrae was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The BMD level in group C decreased by 1.7±2.7%, but there was a significant increase of 1.1±2.9% in group H. In group M there was a decrease of 1.0±3.1% which did not differ from group C. In group C, serum osteocalcin and urinary hydroxyproline excretion were significantly increased, but no changes were seen in either of the exercise groups. Urinary calcium significantly decreased in the exercise groups. We conclude that short-term (7 months) exercise with intensity above the AT is safe and effective in preventing postmenopausal bone loss.