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Lifting Weights Helps Build Strong Bones: Greater Muscle Mass Linked To Better Skeletal Composition

First Posted: Apr 15, 2015 04:03 PM EDT
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Researchers at the University of Southamptom have found that greater muscle mass is consistently linked with healthier bones. However, fat was found to be unrelated to bone development, based on a new study published in the science journal Bone.

For the study, researchers compared muscle mass and bone density data that was collected as part of the Southamptom Women's Survey. They took measurements from 200 children--including imaging to determine bone mineral density, shape and size of the tibia as well as overall skeletal composition, all of which were recorded shortly following birth.

Measurements were then taken as participants turned six or seven years old, when scientists found a strikingly significant correlation between greater muscle mass and stronger bones.

"Bone strength and size is important because they are significant factors in long term osteoporosis and fracture risk," lead study author Dr. Rebecca Moon, said in a news release. "A ten per cent increase in peak bone mass will delay the onset of osteoporosis by 13 years. These findings point to the importance of early childhood physical activity to optimize muscle and bone growth."

The findings are particularly important for young bodies, emphasizing how children should begin to build a strong basis for bones through their muscles even in the early stages of life. Of course, exercise isn't the only way to do this. Essential vitamins and minerals found in certain foods can also help out too.

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