BACKGROUND: Although postmenopausal women are encouraged to exercise to preserve bone mineral density (BMD), few studies have looked at what type of exercise is most effective. OBJECTIVE: To review current data on the effects of exercise training on BMD in postmenopausal women when measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). METHODS: Thirteen studies met defined inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Length of exercise intervention was annualized, and only one effect at each region of interest (lumbar vertebrae, femoral neck, or distal forearm) per intervention group was recorded. RESULTS: Overall, exercise training had a positive effect on BMD of the lumbar vertebrae and femoral neck. Aerobic exercise alone and in combination with strength training positively affected lumbar vertebrae BMD. Aerobic exercise also preserved BMD at the femoral neck. CONCLUSION: These findings provide support for regular aerobic activity in postmenopausal women to offset age-related declines in BMD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation