This study aimed to analyze the effects of walking and resistance exercises on bone structure, bone mineral density (BMD), and skeletal muscle mass. We used data from the fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
A total of 3,477 participants aged ≥19 years underwent hip structural analysis (HSA), BMD, and skeletal muscle index (SMI). All radiologic evaluations were performed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The Korean short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to measure physical activity status. The physical activity recommendations of the American College of Rheumatology Work Group Panel were used to evaluate the extent of activity.
The BMD and SMI in the group in which walking activity was performed 5 days or more per week for at least 30 min per day were significantly higher than those in the group in which walking activity was not performed. HSA and SMI in the group in which resistance exercise was performed 2 days or more per week for at least 30 min per day were found to be significantly higher than those in the group in which strengthening exercises were not performed.
If resistance exercise and walking are combined, bone loss and muscle loss are prevented maintaining cortical thickness in the elderly. Walking for more than 5 days a week and resistance exercise for more than 2 days a week will help to maintain the skeletal muscle as well as the cortex around the femur neck, thus helping to prevent fragility fractures in older individuals.