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Active Fit: Building strong bones and muscles – The Newark Advocate

May 21st, 2022

Licking Memorial Health Systems

Children are constantly growing and developing throughout their childhood. Building strong bones and muscles during this time can have a positive impact on their current and future health by reducing the risk of injury and developing osteoporosisa disease that causes bones to become fragile, and sarcopeniathe loss of muscle as we age. Bones and muscles are living tissue; therefore, both change over time and respond to forces placed upon such. Children with decreased bone and muscle strength are at a higher risk of breaking or fracturing bones and tearing muscles and tendons. With regular exercise and proper diet, muscles and bones adapt to strain and become more resistant to injury, which allows children to play safely.

Diet is a key aspect inmaintaining overall health, especially in bone and muscle growth. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that adolescents reach 90 percent of their peak bone mass by age eighteen, so establishing proper dietary habits early in life will help bones and muscles grow. Children should consume various nutrients for bones and muscles, such as calciuma vital mineral that can be consumed through milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, broccoli, kale, and turnip greens. Children also should consume vitamin Dfound in egg yolk, mushrooms, salmon, and tuna; vitamin Kfound in kale, turnip greens, spinach, and cabbage; and magnesiumfound in almonds, spinach, black beans, peanut butter, and potatoes. Eating a variety of food provides adequate amounts of nutrients to promote muscle and bone growth and will also give energy for exercise.

Exercise also is essential in building strong bones and muscles in children. Muscle growth is commonly associated with weight training; however, such training is not recommended for young children. Bodyweight exercisessuch as yoga, running, jumping rope, sports, push ups, andsit upsare appropriate exercises for children to help muscles grow. Stretching also is an important aspect of exercise,increasingmuscle flexibility and decreasingthe risk of injury.

Parents ultimately decide which foods or physical activities are best for their child based on their interests and safety concerns, but should always help to promote a healthy lifestyle to create healthy habits throughout their childs life. Diet and exercise promotion creates healthy habits for the child that will benefit their overall health and build strong bones and muscles.

For any questions regarding a childs bone and muscle development, contact the primary care physician.

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Active Fit: Building strong bones and muscles - The Newark Advocate

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