Young couch potatoes could pay the price for their lazy lifestyles

Break to the future

Your children’s habits today set the stage for their health tomorrow.

It’s a fact that’s been repeated so many times, it’s practically become a cliché. But that’s a shame… because it’s also very true. And it doesn’t bode well for today’s out-of-shape kids.

Case in point: New research shows that young couch potatoes could pay the price for their lazy lifestyles years down the road.

Swedish researchers recently followed over 800 kids between the ages of 7 and 9 years old for six years. All the subjects participated in 40 minutes of physical activity during every school day.

During this time, researchers tracked the kids’ skeletal development. They also compared their fracture risk to age-matched controls, who clocked only 60 minutes of physical activity each week.

Results showed that the kids who exercised daily reported half as many fractures as those who didn’t. They also showed higher bone density.

And as you may know, higher bone density in youth usually means stronger bones well into adulthood, too.

The researchers confirmed the long-term benefit of exercise by also looking at a group of 708 former athletes in their 60s and 70s. Compared to healthy non-athletes of the same age, these subjects showed significantly smaller rates of bone loss.

All of which is to suggest that regular exercise–early and often–is the best insurance policy against broken bones. One that will protect your kids today… and for decades to come.

Sifferlin, Alexandra. “Kids who exercise are less likely to have fractures in old age.” Time. 25 Mar 2013.