Prevent Osteoporosis by Exercising as You Age

When it comes to preventing osteoporosis, it matters little what you did when you were young, it's what you do now that counts.

A study from Malmo University in Sweden showed that men who were highly competitive soccer players in their youth and then gave up active sports did not have bigger and stronger bones and did not have fewer bone fractures than people who never exercised at all. On the other hand, people who did not exercise in their youth, but started and continued their exercise programs into later life did have larger and stronger bones.

In spite of this study, I still believe that you should start exercising when you are young. Good habits developed when you are young are usually retained for life. People who start exercising at an early age benefit by learning how to exercise. Take a harder workout on one day, followed by easy workouts until the muscle soreness disappears. Learn to take off when your muscles are sore. If you are not already exercising regularly, see How to start an exercise program.

Karlsson MK et al. Exercise during growth and bone mineral density and fractures in old age. Lancet, 2000(Feb 5);355:469-470.

Checked 5/20/17

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