How can cycling contribute to lower bone density?

For all its benefits, cycling as your sole exercise may leave your bones vulnerable to osteopenia, according to a study from the University of Missouri. Researchers tested the bone-mineral density of 27 cyclists and 19 runners, ranging in age from 20 to 59. While one might expect both groups of athletes to have hardy bones, it turned out that 63 percent of the cyclists had osteopenia (lower-than-normal bone density) compared with 19 percent of the runners. Osteopenia was not confined to the older study subjects—several cyclists in their 20s and 30s were already experiencing significant bone-density loss. Unlike cycling, activities like jumping rope, lifting weights and playing contact sports (e.g., soccer or volleyball) provide bone-building impact, which signals bone cells to increase in mass.

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