Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/02/2014 -- Our bones are the foundation of our structure, surrounded by muscle and tissue that coordinate to move the solid pieces of the puzzle that is the human body. Though they’re strong and solid, bones are actually living tissue that responds to forces that act on it; in other words, bones become stronger with activity. Recent research suggests that those who are physically active while they are young grow large, strong bones for life and this effect persists even as we age.
Researchers compared the differences between the throwing and non-throwing arms of major league baseball players at different points in their athletic careers. Once the information was compiled, it was compared with non-baseball players to determine bone size and structure. Over half of the bone size and one third of the bone strength received benefit from activity done during youth, and this benefit continued as the person aged.
It was very impressive to researchers that some of the participants in the study had kept their level of bone density and strength even fifty years after they’d stopped playing the sport.
With this information, the authors of the study suggested that children should exercise for at least an hour per day, and at least a third of this activity should be devoted to weight-bearing activities. Such activities include running, soccer, hopscotch, jumping rope, and other common children’s activities.
While we do lose bone mass over time as we age, the benefit of bone built up during youth activity remains. IN addition to this, activity begun at any age has benefits for bone health. Researchers tested participants in the study who remained active, and found that while bones did stop growing as adults, activity slowed and prevented overall bone loss as a person aged.
Building bone density and strength is important to prevent falls or other injuries, and stave off the effects of osteoporosis that commonly appear as we age.
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