Vitamin E Vitamin E


Exercise Builds Your Kids' Bone Mass Early

When it comes to building stronger bones, typically, I emphasize a dietary approach. I read an interesting study that suggests mechanical loading through exercise -- running or jumping as opposed to swimming or biking -- builds bone strength too. The most profound benefits of this kind of exercise are most pronounced in skeletal growth and development during childhood and adolescence.

The strengthening effect of exercise is very efficient because cellular mechanosensors within bones direct new bone growth to where it is most needed to improve bone strength and hence bone mass. Even though the cellular mechanosensors are very efficient, scientists still don't understand the biological processes involved in bone mechanotransduction very well.

The study warns that activities like serious weight-lifting aren't recommended for children because overloading growing joints can stunt longitudinal bone growth and, consequently, overall limb growth and height.

Studies like this give me one more opportunity to impress upon you how important it is for you to encourage your kids to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Rationing a child's TV time early on can be challenging, particularly when you have more than one small child in the house.

The sooner you get children away from "the Boob Tube," the quicker they are on the path to a healthier, longer life.

Science Daily October 7, 2004

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