Prevention of Bone Loss with Exercise
Osteoporosis is a global health care problem, increasing largely due to improved health care, preventive health measures, and subsequent delay in mortality (Anon., 1993). It is characterized by reduced bone mass, microstructural deterioration with advancing age, and an increase in fracture rate. Knowledge concerning factors affecting the incidence of osteoporosis is critical for the possibility to successfully minimize the impact of the fractures, as a result of a weak and osteoporotic bone, that are an increasing cause of mortality and painful physical impairment of the elderly, particularly in the Western world (Browner et al., 1996; Cooper et al., 1993; Nevitt et al., 1998). Osteoporosis is a multifactorial disease, and it depends on both environmental and genetic factors. Some factors cannot be in—uenced such as genetic factors that have been estimated to be responsible for about 50%–70% of the variance in bone mass (Eisman, 1999; Jouanny et al., 1995; Seeman et al., 1989; Slemenda et al., 1991), but other lifestyle factors, known to in—uence bone mass, a such as nutritional intake, smoking, and exercise, can be in—uenced (Cummings et al., 1995). Exercise has been recommended for prevention and even treatment of osteoporosis because it potentially can increase bone mass and strength in the early years of life and reduce the risk of falling in older populations. This chapter focuses on describing the effects of exercise on bone tissue, the development of bone mass, peak bone mass, osteoporosis fracture prevention.