Dena Silver

Here’s how to stop cycling leading to unhealthy bones

Cyclists are prone to weak bones. Laura Tilt explains how to keep yours strong and resilient

Here’s How To Stop Cycling Leading To Unhealthy Bones

Bone is built from minerals, mostly calcium and phosphate, woven within a flexible collagen-protein matrix. It s this mix that makes our skeleton mobile and light, but strong enough to absorb impact without breaking. Just like muscle, bone is a living, growing tissue that is continually broken down and rebuilt a process stimulated by impacts. Because cycling is non-weight-bearing and largely impact-free, cyclists can suffer from a weakening of bones called osteoporosis.

So, how should you take care of your skeleton?

>>> How can osteopathy help cyclists?1

During childhood and adolescence, bone is laid down faster than it is lost, so our bones become increasingly dense until the age of 18-25, when peak bone mass is achieved. After this point, bones undergo a constant process of renewal, whereby worn-out bone is removed and replaced by new bone tissue, a process known as remodelling. If you lose more bone than you replace, bones slowly become weaker, which can lead to osteoporosis sufferers have thinner, more fragile bones.

>>> Expert opinion: What about an athlete s right to privacy?2

Apart from genetics, which account for up to 50 per cent of our bone health, lifestyle factors spell the difference between a healthy, strong skeleton and weak, fracture-prone bones. We have the capacity to change these factors; building a strong skeleton is largely down to what we eat, and how we move. The message is clear: once you hit your 30s, you need to be proactive in looking after your bones. Getting enough calcium is one of the most important factors affecting bone health. If calcium is in short supply, the body steals it from the skeleton the main storage site to make sure it has enough for other vital functions in the body.

>>> Is milk a good rehydration option?3

Dairy-based sources are best, as the body absorbs around 30-35 per cent of the calcium from milk, versus around five per cent from that found in green vegetables. Vitamin D is another key player, helping the body to absorb calcium efficiently. Because most of our vitamin D comes from the action of sunlight on the skin, deficiency is common between April and October, during which time supplements may be needed.

Aside from diet, exercise is the best way to maintain bone density; specifically, weight-bearing activity to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue. This means taking part in activities such as weight-lifting, running or jump training two to three times a week to maintain a strong skeleton as you age.

Essential skills

Three ways to safeguard bone health

Vitamin D

Better known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D benefits bone health by helping the body to absorb calcium efficiently. Between October and April, the sun s rays aren t strong enough for us to make vitamin D, so levels are typically low during this time. Because cycling clothing covers much of the body, a supplement is a good safeguard; around 10mcg a day is recommended.

Weight-bearing activity

Unlike running, walking or jumping, cycling doesn t stress the skeleton with the mechanical load needed to stimulate new bone growth. For this reason, cyclists who focus solely on endurance training are more at risk of fragile bones, with many studies confirming low bone mineral density across both recreational and professional teams. To offset the risk, weight-bearing activity should be included twice a week experts suggest jumping or cycle sprints for lower limbs and weight-lifting for upper body.

Rest days

Several consecutive days of road cycling can increase bone re-absorption (breakdown) as levels of hormones such as cortisol and testosterone can be affected, limiting bone growth. Building rest days into blocks of intensive training helps to restore hormone levels, minimising the cost to bone health.

Get your post-ride routine spot on

The calcium-cycling connection

Calcium is the skeleton-friendly mineral, deposited in bone to maintain density and strength. Getting adequate calcium is important regardless of age or gender, but for cyclists, it s really crucial, because calcium is lost in sweat.

>>> Lose weight through cycling: Lighter and faster in four weeks4

During intense training sessions, up to 200mg of calcium can be lost per hour the amount found in a small glass of milk. A simple way to protect the bones is to eat a calcium-rich meal before training.

In one study published last year in the journal PLOS One, female cyclists performing 90-minute cycling trials on consecutive days had lower levels of bone breakdown when they had a calcium-rich dairy meal two hours before riding.


  1. ^ >>> How can osteopathy help cyclists? (
  2. ^ >>> Expert opinion: What about an athlete s right to privacy? (
  3. ^ >>> Is milk a good rehydration option? (
  4. ^ >>> Lose weight through cycling: Lighter and faster in four weeks (

Guy and Hunter’s European Vacation

Premise: Longtime Food Network star Guy Fieri likely won’t be visiting many diners, drive-ins or dives during this series. Guy takes his son Hunter, as a high school graduation gift, on a trip to Europe, where they visit 13 cities to give Hunter — who intends to major in hospitality studies at UNLV — a global culinary experience. At each stop on the itinerary — including England, France and Germany — the Fieris get lessons about making local favorite dishes.

The trip takes on personal meaning when Guy and Hunter reunite with relatives in Italy, and visit a house in France where Guy once stayed as an exchange student.

The best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in travel

The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals In Travel

50% off stays at two London hotels Hotels Lancaster London1 and K West Hotel & Spa2 are slashing room prices by 50% in their first ever Black Friday deal for one day only. The fantastic offer will be available for 24 hours, starting at 9am on 27 November 2015.

At K West, you could save up to 200 and at Lancaster London, there is a saving of up to 350. K West Hotel is just a stone’s throw from Westfield London – one of the largest shopping destinations in Europe, while Lancaster London is a short walk to Oxford Street. 199 return flights to Los Angeles

Air New Zealand is offering 199 return flights from London Heathrow to Los Angeles, with its sale starting at 10am on Cyber Monday (30 November). One hundred flights will be available on selected dates in February 2016 for bargain hunters to pick up a travel deal. Outbound flights are available on 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 February, returning on 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17. The Cyber Monday deal will go live at 10am via See also: Ten travel hacks you don’t already know4 70% off at UK Discount Holidays © holiday parks

Park Resorts is offering up to 70% off its 2016 brochure prices on Black Friday5, meaning you could book a four-night break from just 59 per Discount Holidays © holiday home (caters up to six people sharing). If the four-night (Mon Fri) breaks aren’t your thing, for Cyber Monday there will be three-night weekend breaks available from 69 in a 24-hour sale. The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals In Travel

Two for one stays at a luxury Cotswolds hotel The Old Swan & Minster Mill in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds is bringing back its Black Friday Two for One Sale6 for 2015. For one day only, you can book two nights for the price of one for January and February stays. The offer applies to all rooms, suites and cottages booked on a bed and breakfast basis, with rooms available from 175 per night. The hotel has country-cosy atmosphere, with log-fired snugs and oak-beamed dining rooms, perfect for a Cotswolds escape. See also: How to get a cheaper hotel deal7

All rooms for 89 at a boutique bolthole in Chester Oddfellows Chester8 is offering every hotel room for 89 when you book a stay on Cyber Monday for the same night. This means the first people to book will get the best rooms (a Douglas Duplex is usually 354).

The boutique hotel is located in the centre of Chester, just moments away from the city’s shops – ideal for a Christmas shopping break. To take advantage of the offer, call 01244 345454 and quote ‘cyber stay’ on Cyber Monday. The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals In Travel

Four-star Dubai for 323 Teletext Holidays9 will offer a selection of holidays to hot destinations in its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale, including 33 per cent off a three-night Discount Holidays © holiday in Dubai, including a stay at the four-star Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham from just 323 per person. The flight departs from Gatwick on 15 April 2016.

320 off a last-minute trip to New York

America is where you will find the biggest and best Black Friday deals, where retailers slash up to 80% off goods and some shops even stay open overnight.

So that you can take advantage of the event, My America Holiday10 is offering pre-Black Friday deals, including a three-night trip to New York between 25 and 30 November for as little as 595 per person (saving you 320), including Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow and a stay at the 4.5-star Roxy Hotel Tribeca on a room-only basis.

The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals In Travel


  1. ^ Lancaster London (
  2. ^ K West Hotel & Spa (
  3. ^ (
  4. ^ Ten travel hacks you don’t already know (
  5. ^ 70% off its 2016 brochure prices on Black Friday (
  6. ^ Black Friday Two for One Sale (
  7. ^ How to get a cheaper hotel deal (
  8. ^ Oddfellows Chester (
  9. ^ Teletext Holidays (
  10. ^ My America Holiday (