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Key to Maximizing Bone Density: Play Sports Regularly While Young

By Erik Lief, American Council on Science and Health, 01/30/19, 12:00PM CST


Gradual weakening or thinning out of bones occurs normally with age, and the longer we live, the less bone mass we have, and the more prone we are to fractures. 

Loss of bone density can be a significant issue for adults later in life, especially for those with healthy lifestyles who are living longer than ever. So what's an essential way to build up strong bones while one can? Play regular, organized sports as a kid and teenager. Ugh. OK, that's great for them. But that's not much help for those of us over the age of 20. The reason that ship has already sailed for the older set is that once adulthood is reached we are unable to acquire additional bone mass.

But parents with young children should encourage sports participation throughout their early lives as a way of maximizing bone density while the opportunity exists. This particularly applies to adolescent girls, who are most in need of strong bones so that they can avoid being afflicted by osteoporosis later in life.