An idea to keep your bones strong

Here’s something that might surprise you about the kind of exercise that may be best in helping bones stay strong.

If you want to maximize the effort that will help your bones stay healthy, you should walk downhill rather than uphill.

That’s the surprising (at least to me) conclusion of a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society held last March in New Orleans (if you’re gonna have a meeting anywhere in March, by the way, New Orleans is the place to have it).

In this tiny study of 15 postmenopausal women with diabetes, the researchers concluded that walking downhill (as opposed to walking uphill or not walking at all) led to less breakdown of protective protein collagen which would in turn help bones stay stronger.

The researchers offered some mumbo-jumbo (at least to me) about gravity to justify these findings but no matter what the explanation may be, the simple fact is that it’s a lot easier to sell downhill walking than it is to promote uphill walking, and anything that gets people moving is to be strongly commended.

Only problem is that if you do walk downhill for your exercise, you will eventually have to walk uphill again to get home.

Unelss, of course, you can persuade someone to pick you up at the bottom of the hill.