Exercise Early, Stronger Bones Later

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, May 6 (UPI) — Swedish researchers say those who exercise when young may be rewarded with stronger bones when old.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden suggest those in exercise programs when young build stronger bones and may lower their risk of osteoporosis.

“The bones respond best when you’re young, and if you train and load them with your own bodyweight during these years, it has a stimulating effect on their development,” Martin Nilsson, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, said in a statement.

Nilsson and colleagues examined the bones and exercise habits of about 3,200 men — 2,300 18-year-olds were randomly-selected to have heel bone tests. Those who exercised had denser heel bones than those never involved in sports.

Also, tests of the lower leg of about 360 19-year-old men indicated those who had stopped exercising more than 6 years ago still had larger and thicker bones than those who had never done sports.

Finally, tests of bone density throughout the body of 500 randomly selected 75-year old men indicated higher bone densities in those engaged in competitive sports three or more times a week sometime between the ages of 10-30.

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