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the truth about exercise machines at age 63

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Posts: 387
6/5/13 11:14 A

Regarding bone loss, if you do lots of low-impact exercises like cycling and do not do enough higher-load exercises like running/fast walking and strength training, then yes, you increase the chance of bone loss. Here is a summary of the studies on exercise's effect on bone loss:

Keep in mind that other factors contribute to bone loss too, like sun exposure (for the vitamin D), hormone levels, protein and mineral levels, and medications.

By the way, i agree with the other person that strength training machines aren't as functional or ergonomically correct as freeweights.

Posts: 55,940
6/5/13 2:03 A

I follow Dr. Mercola and also, Roby Mitchell MD who is DrFitt on YouTube and neither one of them has ever said that using exercise machines would cause bone thinning. In fact, they promote exercise at any age to help with building bones. I don't know about these other articles as there are lots of people writing articles who don't really know anything factual. They think anyone over 40 is ready for the graveyard. emoticon

I follow Priscilla Patrick who is at and she is 73.

Posts: 14,060
6/5/13 12:38 A

Ahh, I see the problem. Osteoporosis (bone weakening) is a completely different disease from osteoarthritis (wear and tear). I think this is causing some confusion here, and why you are getting some of the reactions from posters.

Any exercise is good in terms of preventing osteoporosis. But strength training is better at preventing it than cardio. Any good exercise program includes BOTH ST and cardio.

My understanding of osteoarthritis is that it can be caused by being physically inactive, and being physically overactive. Doing the same exercise for years (nordic track in this case) can wear specific joints. Varying your exercise through cross training several different forms of exercise can help get the benefits of being fit and active, without wearing specific joints so much.


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6/4/13 9:38 P

I probably shouldn't have used the word "anger" sorry (especially not in regard to your post). A couple of people are just questioning my "sources" it's just a matter of finding some links for them to go to. As I said before, you have to keep "experimenting" with the search terms...And I'm NOT looking for a link to make me right - that is not correct...i just want to present the truth the best I can and of course, the most objective..hey, I'm not getting marked on this LOL

Edited by: PIZZAPIE1234 at: 6/4/2013 (21:39)

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6/4/13 9:15 P

No anger at all that I can see. Questioning a post does not equate to anger...

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6/4/13 6:18 P

HI everyone,

I feel a little "anger" about what I said. Rest assured, I'm not posting to be "insincere".
I will find links that support what I said. Show me anyone over 50ish that isn't showing a bit of osteoarthritis - wear and tear of cartilage. What I think is a good thing to think about is WHY does cartilage disappear on some more than others. I guess they jog more, are more intense on machines etc. I think this can be related also to BONE LOSS.

That being said, I will find links to back up what I said. All I can speak for is me _ and I am going to Proceed with caution. And needless to say, HOW you google, effects the links you get. IS A STATIONARY BIKE GOOD TO USE IF YOU HAVE OSTEOPENIA (thinning of bones that may or may not lead to osteoporosis) AND OVER 50....I'll get back to you all!

Thanks! Pizzapie1234

Edited by: PIZZAPIE1234 at: 6/4/2013 (18:24)

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6/4/13 3:48 P

To be fair, a lot of the Nautilus type weight machines don't actually work your muscles in useful ways. They isolate muscles to the point where you're not doing any kind of functional movement and can put a lot of stress on your joints (see the thigh ab/aductor machines). Free weights can be better for you and your joints because with proper form, you're using your entire body to stabilize yourself and actually doing movements your joints were designed to do, rather than motions dictated by a machine.

Posts: 1,044
6/4/13 2:57 P

I just googled "osteoporosis caused by exercise machines" and came up with nothing. Well, that's a lie, I came up with a multitude of reliable sources touting all kinds of exercise as a way to prevent osteoporosis and sites that suggest the elliptical is a great way to exercise WITH osteoporosis.

but not a single site claiming that exercise of any kind caused osteoporosis.

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6/4/13 2:51 P

I, too, would like to see any credible data supporting that exercise leads to osteoporosis! All the reputable sites I have viewed (including National Osteoporosis Foundation, Mayo Clinic, etc.) all strongly recommend exercise for help preventing osteoporosis. Specifically weight bearing and resistance exercise to strengthen bone and muscle. They even talk about low resistance weight bearing being important for those who have osteoporosis.

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6/4/13 2:26 P

Thanks for your detailed reply! So I'm wondering if all the exercise you did
eventually created osteoporosis, or if it is in the genes?

I truly think (intuitively too) that lifting weights, stretching, walking, swimming ARE enough and might stave off bone loss.

But like almost everyone, machines are addictive, and fun (loved the elliptical) and push weight loss...So without those, calories in and calories out, are more of a challenge.
I know, I lost weight faster and relied on the machines in the gym when I was younger.

Thanks! Pizzapie1234

Posts: 2,349
6/4/13 11:06 A

Interesting topic. Here is my experience. I am age 55, female, 5'2", and have been jogging, biking, and swimming 5-7days a week for 40 years, outside of illness or injury. I seldom used machines indoors like a treadmill since I much prefer to be outside as much as possible. I jogged and biked on the roads. I started Yoga and Pilates on alternate run days about 15 years ago. I added strength about five years ago. Well aware of my "high risk" for osteoporosis since my early twenties due to my sex, petite frame, and light coloring, (I don't smoke or drink alcohol), I hoped and expected that my lifestyle of high calcium diet and fitness would prevent osteoporosis.

Given this, I was diagnosed at age 53 with osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. Even with concentrated effort for four decades, I still am a candidate for osteoporosis. After learning this strength training became significantly important and now it is a high priority thrice weekly, even though I hate doing it.

The doctor ordered a prescription for hormone replacement therapy, and I continue to have a diet high in calcium with calcium supplements.

I was recently tested for bone density test again and have no further bone loss.

To all women after age 50, get the tests done to know your bone density. Then repeat at your physicians recommendation. It is too important to skip.

I hope this is helpful to someone. Best wishes... and keep up that exercising!

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6/4/13 8:09 A

Why don't you post some links to these "reputable sites"?

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6/4/13 7:26 A

Hi, I've always been active but recently have started wondering if exercise machines like the rower, bike, and other weight resistance ones are really all that good for bones.
If you google, you can read that they can create thinning of bones as you age and especially if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis. My cousin who is now 55, used the Nordic Track for years and now, she has osteoporosis of the lower spine (her doctor said this most likely did it)... It doesn't matter what "shape" you're in, but the constant repetitive motion of these machines wear bones; yes, if you're in your twenties, thirties, you don't worry. But the wearing and tearing, eventually catches up.
What's an alternative - free weights, stretch bands, etc. Love to hear your experiences.
If you've wondered about this also, start googling.....too many reputable sites are talking about this now. Thanks for listening! Pizzapie1234

Edited by: PIZZAPIE1234 at: 6/4/2013 (07:31)

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