Run for Your Health: The Effects of Running on Bone Marrow by Mei Marcie
Exercise may help keep aging bone marrow a little younger. In a study conducted by the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, Australia, researchers set out to examine the impact of running and cycling on the age of spinal bone marrow. As we age, our bone marrow converts gradually from a predominately red blood cell-producing bone marrow into a yellow fatty marrow. This "aging" negatively impacts blood and bone metabolism and is linked to conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
This study included 101 men and women aged 25 to 35 years who were grouped into long-distance runners (at least 50km per week), habitual joggers (20 to 40km per week), high-volume cyclists (at least 150km per week) and a non-sporting group. It was found that the people who ran more than 20km per week had bone marrow eight years younger than participants who were sedentary and performed no regular sport. Another interesting finding was that high-volume cyclists had a similar level of bone marrow fat to the non-sporting group, possibly because cycling did not load the spine. The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
So how does one keep the bone marrow healthy? It's time to incorporate running into our exercise routine!