Summary: This study determines the minimum level of exercise required to maintain 8 weeks of jumping exercise-induced bone gains in rats. It was found that the minimum level of exercise required for maintaining the different exercise-induced bone gains varied between 11% and 18% of the initial exercise intensity.
Introduction: This study ascertains the minimum level of follow-up exercise required to maintain bone gains induced by an 8-week jumping exercise in rats.
Methods: Twelve groups of 12-week old rats (n = 10 rats per group) were given either no exercise for 8 (8S) or 32 weeks (32S), or received 8 weeks of standard training program (8STP) that consisted of 200 jumps per week, given at 40 jumps per day for 5 days per week, followed by 24 weeks of exercise at loads of either 40 or 20 or 10 jumps per day, for either 5, or 3, or 1 day/week. Bone mass, strength, and morphometric properties were measured in the right tibia. Data were analyzed using one-way analyses of variance.
Results: Bone mass, strength, mid-shaft periosteal perimeter and cortical area were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the rats given 8STP than that in the 8S group. The minimal level of exercise required to maintain the bone gains was 31, 36, 25, and 21 jumps per week for mass, strength, periosteal perimeter and cortical area, respectively.
Conclusions: Eight weeks of jumping exercise-induced bone gains could be maintained for a period of 24 weeks with follow-up exercise consisting of 11% to 18% of the initial exercise load.