Exercise in early 20s may cut osteoporosis risk
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Increased physical exercise in the early twenties augments bone development and may trim down the risk of fractures in later life, a new study has revealed.
The strength of our bones is determined early in life. The more bone mass we put on when young, the smaller the risk of fractures as we grow older.
Previous research has shown that exercise before and during puberty is particularly important for bone development.
Now researchers at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy have shown that exercise in the early twenties also aids bone growth, countering the risk of broken bones later in life.
Mattias Lorentzon and his colleagues at the Sahlgrenska Academy's Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research show in a study of 833 Swedish men that those who increased their levels of physical activity between the ages of 19 and 24 also increased their bone density in the hips, lumbar spine, arms and lower legs – while those who decreased their physical activity during this period had significantly more brittle bones.
"The men who increased or maintained high levels of physical activity also developed larger and thicker bones in their lower arms and legs," said Lorentzon.
"These findings suggest that maintaining or, ideally, increasing physical activity can improve bone growth in our youth, which probably reduces the risk of fractures later on," Lorentzon added.
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