Bone Density and Rowing?

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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shadowpup
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Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by shadowpup » December 26th, 2018, 11:33 am

Question: has anyone looked into how to balance weight bearing exercises like walking/running with rowing?


As a breast cancer thriver, I watch the impact of past chemotherapy and adjuvant treatments on my bones - and have been able to balance pretty successfully til now by keeping at the 10K steps a day indoors and out (measuring with annual bone density scans). My bones are slightly more fragile than average for all women, but much better than for those with this health history according to my oncologist. He's pretty pleased.

Still, I'd like to cut my walking time down by half an hour in favor of the rower. It's more fun, doesn't hurt my feet, and I can get my heart rate almost as high as the flat out intervals I'd been doing on the elliptical. There isn't enough time for both workouts though unless I cut back on my steps, probably about 5K a week. Has anyone seen research that maps "5K steps a day" to "meters rowed" from a bone density perspective? There are studies showing bone-benefit from rowing, but it didn't really indicate how much benefit. I'd guess that the rower isn't pounding as much, and so probably a longer session would be needed. Still, it would be nice to have some research to fall back on. Most of the bone-density related studies look at weight bearing exercise, and this falls out of my doctor's expertise.
Stats: F 57 5'7.
RowErg PB: 500m 2:07.3; 1000m 4:44.5; 2000m 9:44.8; 5000m 23:51.6; 6000m 28:35.9; 10000 49:43.4

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Gammmmo
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by Gammmmo » December 26th, 2018, 2:40 pm

For bone density I'd say weight training would be more effective. I speak from experience too. Just make sure you pick exercises, at least initially, that aren't contra-indicated.
Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (ish), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

shadowpup
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by shadowpup » December 26th, 2018, 7:30 pm

Thanks - appreciate the quick reply … I'm already doing strength training, and rock climbing also. And a few nutritional things. But weight bearing exercise with the elliptical or hiking has been part of my plan related to maintaining bone density - hence my hope someone has spotted a study that I've missed. I do know about these:

https://www.concept2.com/files/pdf/us/t ... orosis.pdf

https://bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedce ... 47-7-S1-O6

These mostly apply to elite rowers though, which does not describe me in the slightest :D
Stats: F 57 5'7.
RowErg PB: 500m 2:07.3; 1000m 4:44.5; 2000m 9:44.8; 5000m 23:51.6; 6000m 28:35.9; 10000 49:43.4

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Gammmmo
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by Gammmmo » December 27th, 2018, 6:55 am

shadowpup wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 7:30 pm
Thanks - appreciate the quick reply … I'm already doing strength training, and rock climbing also. And a few nutritional things. But weight bearing exercise with the elliptical or hiking has been part of my plan related to maintaining bone density - hence my hope someone has spotted a study that I've missed. I do know about these:

https://www.concept2.com/files/pdf/us/t ... orosis.pdf

https://bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedce ... 47-7-S1-O6

These mostly apply to elite rowers though, which does not describe me in the slightest :D
I think you've kind of answered your own question with that last statement as what would be best for you. Interesting pdf though - thanks. Plenty in there I didn't know. I suppose unless u really commit to rowing OR go for the shorter higher power efforts then it's not going to be that great. (Also be v careful going for the shorter distances max efforts e.g. 500m as it takes time to adapt your "chassis" to rowing from experience which otherwise risks injury). I'd say the hiking and weights would cover it. Unless of course you want to do erging specifically too....
Paul, 47M, 5'11" 75kg (ish), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 1:27(500m), 3:12(1K), 6:44(2K), >8200m (30mins), 36:59(10K)

Erg on!

shadowpup
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by shadowpup » December 28th, 2018, 7:13 am

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the articles. As you say, the correlation with elite rowers isn't someone a beginner can rely on for health decisions. Too many other characteristics besides use of a rower might be responsible for the results. It's interesting how much there is left to learn about what does and doesn't affect our bones.
Stats: F 57 5'7.
RowErg PB: 500m 2:07.3; 1000m 4:44.5; 2000m 9:44.8; 5000m 23:51.6; 6000m 28:35.9; 10000 49:43.4

Ripples
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by Ripples » February 17th, 2019, 8:00 pm

With your training schedule, hopefully you're getting sufficient protein in your diet. Also Vitamin K2.

http://blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/2014/ ... ibility-2/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494092/

As to the erg, no, it does not provide the bone benefits of weight-bearing exercises except it does strengthen the back muscles which will protect the spine.

Nick
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by Nick » February 20th, 2019, 10:49 am

I've got osteopenia and my endocrinologist and primary care docs strongly advise weights and walking while also strongly supporting rowing as part of a workout routine. Keep rowing because it will strengthen your endurance and core and to ensure helping your bone density health I suggest hiking/walking with a moderate load since mild impact will add to the density equation - remember unless you're a Sherpa keep the load moderate. Best of luck!

mdpfirrman
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Re: Bone Density and Rowing?

Post by mdpfirrman » February 21st, 2019, 4:30 pm

No one still seems to know about Vitamin K2. If you're talking bone density, 99% of the public has no idea about one of the best discoveries in the last decade. Vitamin K2 has been found to communicate to the body where to put calcium -- in the bones, not in the arteries.

In the Western Diet, we've been eating tons of dairy and intake of Vitamin D and Calcium are incredibly high, but still, as a society, we have poor bone health and an epidemic of heart disease. Scientists learned a few years back that the missing "ingredient" was Vitamin K2 from our modern diet. We ate lots of K2 years ago in things like "headcheese" and salami (with animal scraps in it). It's also in grass fed Brie and Gouda, something else most of us don't get much of these days. Japanese don't eat much dairy yet have very low levels of fractures and heart disease. It's because they eat tons of Natto (fermented soybeans), which K2 supplements can be derived from. Natto isn't something appetizing to the Western pallet. They describe it as similar to snot.

Vitamin K2, in the MK-7 form, is a must for bone health along with Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium. Without K2, taking Calcium supplements is not only not helpful, but potentially dangerous.

Some "Bone Health" formulas (from better brands) now include K2 in them. It's not the same as Vitamin K1, totally different animal.

https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/2016/12/ ... -resource/

There have also been some recent studies suggesting K2 can increase maximum heart capacity for aerobic performance. I'm not convinced of that but it does seem to lessen the time back getting into aerobic shape after a break/injury (cuts it in half). 300mcg was in the study I saw.
Image

Mike Pfirrman
53 Yrs old, 5' 10" / 185 lbs (177cm/84kg)

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