The benefits of exercise are plenty and an active lifestyle is important for adults and children. An Australian research has followed the growth of children up to twenty years or so. It has revealed that spending too much time in front of a TV or in sedentary activities, makes the bones brittle.
Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of Exercise Medicine at Humanitas and professor at the University of Milan discussed the importance of exercising for our bones.
Movement stimulates bone renewal
A sedentary lifestyle, especially in the ages of growth, may be harmful to health, and even our bones. In fact, movement stimulates the bone, causing it to grow and innovate. Bone are alive and their cells die and are renewed like other cells. The bone’s renewal is important to allow it to grow healthy and remain solid when we become adults.
Physical activity and kids
After school and on weekends there are great opportunities for kids to be physically active. A distinction must be made though between structured activities (such as swimming, basketball training, etc) and daily activities, which include childplay and games. Children in their free time should combine movement with playing. Running, biking, and playing hide and seek with friends are all good physical activities for kids. If this is combined with a structured activity, an ideal balance is achieved that benefits the kids bone structure and future health. Guidelines suggest that children should play at least one hour a day with a moderate-intense activity of aerobic type.
Physical activity and adults
Even in adults, physical activity is very important to maintain a healthy skeleton. A short run or even walking fast during your daily commute can have very positive effects.
As we grow older though, we start having problems due to a reduction in bone density, or in some cases from diseases such as osteoporosis, in which case physical activity could be contraindicated due to other risks. In such cases it is important to work on the muscles, making them more robust. Ideally adults should engage in strength training, balance exercises and exercises that improve coordination, like dancing.