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Active exercise promotes bone health

Indulging into high impact activities like running, jumping etc. during childhood boosts bone health by increasing the size and strength of the growing skeleton.

Active exercise promotes bone health

Indulging into high impact activities like running, jumping etc. during childhood boosts bone health by increasing the size and strength of the growing skeleton. Moreover, the benefits in bone size and strength induced by exercise during growth persist lifelong even if exercise is stopped. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in Indianapolis, USA found that the lifelong maintenance of exercise benefits gained during growth may help reduce an individual's risk of osteoporotic fracture as they age. To investigate, the researching team exercised the right, but not the left, forearms of young growing rats for a few minutes thrice a week for seven weeks. They analysed the amount and structure of bone in the rats' right and left forearms before and after exercise. The exercise resulted in an increase in the size and strength of the exercised bones. Following seven weeks of exercise, the rats did no exercise for another 92 weeks virtually their entire lifespan. Despite not being exercised during aging, all of the benefits gained by exercise during growth remained throughout the animals' lifespan. The findings suggest that children should be encouraged to undertake regular exercise during growth to enhance their lifelong bone health. Exercises that appear beneficial to the growing skeleton include weight bearing activities that involve some form of impact loading, such as jumping and landing, like basketball and jump rope. Although, exercise during growth appears particularly important, continuing to exercise throughout the lifespan is highly recommended as it can help maintain skeletal benefits of exercise, as well as maintain balance and fitness, all of which aid in reducing the risk of osteoporotic fractures as an individual ages.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research,
December 2006
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