Children who are physically active are more likely able to build strong bones than children who aren’t.
One of the ways children can build strong bones is to engage in some type of physical activity or play sports. Playing team sports not only allows children to build strong bones, it also helps them to build on their social skills.
However, not every child likes to play on athletic teams. Some children shun teams altogether. Some children who join team sports later quit to avoid living up to personal or others expectations. Other children quit team sports because they say it’s no longer fun, their school work requires more attention, or they felt they weren’t getting enough playing time, or they developed new interests.
You want your child to stay physical active, but pressuring your child to play sports may be overwhelming and do more damage than good.
Two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density are weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Weight-bearing exercises include activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright. Weight-bearing exercises are either high-impact or low-impact.
Bones are living tissue. Weight-bearing physical activity causes new bone tissue to form, which makes bones stronger. A benefit of regular physical activity is that it helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life. To encourage a child to stay physically active, here are six muscle- and bone-strengthening activities they can try:
Being outdoors can boost a child’s imagination. Children can learn to be creative doing jumping jacks, playing on the monkey bars, or other playground equipment. While they’re swinging on bars, or crawling through tunnels, their bones are simultaneously building muscle.
Dance studios offer an introduction to dance to children as early as age 4. At this tender age, children are taught disciplines such as the rhythmical movement to song and verse and the elementary of Ballet. Classical ballet is usually taught as a foundation. Around age 7, let your child experiment with jazz, tap, or Hip Hop.
Jumping rope is fun and it gives you a great workout.
A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that people who jumped 10 times twice daily increased bone density by .5 percent compared with those who didn’t and lost about 1.3 percent.
The key to finding a durable jump rope depends on whether your child plans to jump indoors or outdoors. If your child is jumping outdoors, have them use an outdoor rated rope. Picking a rope also depends on how fast they want to jump and how often they plan to use it.
Researchers studied the bone density of youth after they played tennis. After playing, their study showed that the bone in the racquet upper arm of young players was about 40 percent bigger than their non-racquet arm. Another study showed that children who play tennis and other sports when young can strengthen their bones by up to 63 percent and reduce the risk of frailty in old age.
Walking reduces stress and increases creativity. These two will help a child’s performance at school. If your child is still young, and you don’t feel they’re mature enough to walk alone, then walking in groups with friends or siblings is a good idea.
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