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Postmenopausal women often become a victim of osteoporosis due to the lack of estrogen.

Walking Downhill Can Help Improve Bone Health in Women

By Kanika  •  

Postmenopausal women with diabetes can be benefitted from walking downhill after a meal. The study was presented at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in New Orleans on March 24, 2019.

According to the new study, all postmenopausal women with diabetes have more chances to break bones than those who do not have diabetes. This happens because of the loss of estrogen in the body, which can easily result in the reduction of bone resorption.

Resorption is a process in which old bone is broken down and removed from the body. Based on the report published in NCBI, postmenopausal women are most likely to fracture their hip, wrist, and vertebral fractures.

Researchers evaluated the study on 15 postmenopausal women with diabetes. The study involved two different experiments and each experiment lasted for five consecutive days. For this research, one group was spared from exercising, while other groups were asked to exercise on either uphill or downhill treadmill for 40 minutes.

Throughout the experiment, the participants were asked to wear the special shoe insoles, which helped researchers to monitor the impact of their walking. They were also asked to exercise an hour either before or after eating each of two daily meals.

Further on, to measure the level of glucose and insulin, and to determine the markers of bone formation and resorption, researchers collected participant’s blood samples on an hourly basis.

The result of this experiment suggested that in women who walked downhill after eating, the breakdown of the protein collagen was effectively reduced. Protein collagen is a protein layer in the extracellular space in various connective tissues in the body which helps in forming bones.

The study also suggested that in future, if diabetic women undergoing menopause perform an easy exercise like walking downhill after eating, it will reduce their need for osteoporosis medication.

Osteoporosis is a disease which weakens the bones. In this condition, bones become too fragile that they can be easily broken from a minor accident. Even a sudden cough or sneeze can cause rib fracture in osteoporosis. It often happens when women are 45 years old. Postmenopausal women often become a victim of osteoporosis due to the lack of estrogen.

Katarina T. Borer, the study-lead of the paper from the University of Michigan, said, “We wanted to see whether eating before or after meals and walking downhill or uphill, had an effect on markers of bone formation and resorption in these women.”

She added, “Exercising after eating may help nutrients from the food get absorbed into the bloodstream. The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. When you walk downhill, the pull of gravity is greater.”

According to scientists, more research is needed to be done before implementing this study on patients. However, scientists are trying to find the answer to how much bone mineral can be lost during exercise and how much exercise should be suggested to reduce osteoporosis medication.

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