Monitor the health of your community here

Is Bicycling a Weight-Bearing Exercise?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity most days of the week to help you preserve and build bone density. Weight-bearing exercise, such as jumping, running, walking or even using an elliptical trainer, stresses your bone tissue and encourages regeneration. Bicycling does not qualify as weight-bearing exercise because you don't support your weight against gravity. Always consult your doctor before starting this or any other exercise regimen.

Increased Risk

A February 2009 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" published a study from the University of Oklahoma found that competitive male cyclists had lower bone density than a control group, with some even having the precursor to osteoporosis — osteopenia — despite otherwise being in excellent physical condition 1. Weak bones put women and men at risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.

Keep Bones Strong

How Do I Treat a Bone Chip?

Learn More

You don't have to abandon cycling to keep your bones strong. Simply augment your weekly rides with strength-training exercises and occasional cross-training activity such as running, playing basketball or dance. If you need low-impact exercise, opt for the stair-step machine or a brisk walk outdoors or on a treadmill. Consume at least the recommended daily intake of 1,000 milligrams of calcium, advises "Bicycling," from foods such as:

  • yogurt
  • milk
  • greens
The Wrap Up
  • The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity most days of the week to help you preserve and build bone density.
  • Always consult your doctor before starting this or any other exercise regimen.
  • A February 2009 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" published a study from the University of Oklahoma found that competitive male cyclists had lower bone density than a control group, with some even having the precursor to osteoporosis — osteopenia — despite otherwise being in excellent physical condition.
×