Examining bone, muscle and fat in middle-aged long-term endurance runners: a cross-sectional study
journal contributionposted on 2020-02-01, 00:00 authored by Ulrike H Mitchell, Bruce Bailey, Patrick OwenPatrick Owen
Aerobic exercise training has many known cardiovascular benefits that may promote healthy aging. It is not known if long-term aerobic exercise training is also associated with structural benefits (e.g., lower fat mass, higher areal bone mineral density (BMD) and greater muscle mass). We evaluated these parameters in middle-aged long-term endurance runners compared to sex-, age-, height-, and weight-matched non-running controls. Total and regional lean and fat mass and areal BMD were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Sagittal magnetic resonance images captured the cross-sectional area and thickness of the lumbar multifidus. Runners (n = 10; all male) had a mean (standard deviation; SD) age of 49 (4) years, height of 178.9 (4.9) cm, weight of 67.8 (5.8) kg, body mass index (BMI) of 21.4 (1.4) kg/m2 and had been running 82.6 (27.9) km/week for 23 (13) years. Controls (n = 9) had a mean (SD) age of 51 (5) years, height of 176.0 (5.1) cm, weight of 72.8 (7.1) kg, and BMI of 23.7 (2.1) kg/m2. BMI was greater in controls (p = 0.010). When compared to controls on average, runners had a 10 percentage-point greater total body lean mass than controls (p = 0.001) and 14% greater trunk lean mass (p = 0.010), as well as less total body (8.6 kg; p < 0.001), arm (58%; p = 0.002), leg (52%; p < 0.001), trunk (73%; p < 0.001), android (91%; p < 0.001), and gynoid fat mass (64%; p < 0.001). No differences were observed between groups for BMD outcomes or multifidus size. These results underscore the benefits of endurance running to body composition that carry over to middle-age.
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Pagination1 - 10
Link to full text
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineMedicine, General & InternalGeneral & Internal Medicineexercisebody compositionadipose tissuehealthy agingrunningX-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRYSUBCUTANEOUS ADIPOSE-TISSUEMINERAL DENSITYAEROBIC EXERCISEBODY-FATWAIST CIRCUMFERENCEOLDER-ADULTSRISK-FACTORSSTRENGTHIMPACT