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Best for Bones Activities

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Physical Activity Q&A

  1. What is bone-strengthening activity?
  2. How does bone-strengthening activity help build strong bones?
  3. Why is bone-strengthening activity so important for my daughter?
  4. How much physical activity do girls need?
  5. Doesn't my daughter already get enough physical activity?
  6. What if my daughter has a physical disability?

1. What is bone-strengthening activity?

 

Teen girl running on a trackBone-strengthening activities are any activities that produce a force on the bones and promote bone growth and strength. This force is produced most often by impact on the ground in activities that involve running or jumping, such as soccer and basketball. Your daughter should include bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week. Resistance activities such as weight training* or using resistance bands also build strong bones and can be good alternatives for girls who cannot participate in bone-strengthening activity. Look over this list of bone-building physical activities for your daughter.

*Make sure to check with your daughter's doctor before she begins weight training to suggest an age-appropriate program.

2. How does bone-strengthening activity help build strong bones?

Bones are living tissue. When bones work against gravity, new bone tissue forms, making the bones stronger. Bone-strengthening activity also makes muscles stronger, and when muscles push and tug against bones, they make bones even stronger.

3. Why is bone-strengthening activity so important for my daughter?

Girls ages 9-18 are in their key bone-building years. Almost 90 percent of her bone mass is built before she graduates high school. Help your daughter get the calcium, vitamin D, and bone-strengthening physical activity she needs to build strong bones now to decrease her risk of osteoporosis later.

4. How much physical activity do girls need?

Girls need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. They should also choose bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week to build strong bones.  

5. Doesn't my daughter already get enough physical activity?

Maybe not. Not all schools require PE class, and even if they do, participation may not provide girls with enough bone-building physical activity. Although organized sports provide girls with opportunities to get physically active, not all girls get involved. Also, as girls get older, they tend to become less active. If physical activity becomes a part of your daughter's daily routine, she'll be more likely to keep those healthy habits when she's older.

6. What if my daughter has a physical disability?

Activities that help build bone strength are key for children with physical disabilities. If your daughter has a disability that makes it hard for her to do bone-strengthening activities, talk to her doctor about what she can do to help build her bones.

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