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Does exercise build strong bones?

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:12pm

If a woman lives long enough, she can expect to have osteoporosis. Lifting weights during adolescence can help prevent osteoporosis when women are older. A woman’s bones are strongest when she is 20, and after that, she loses bone continuously for the rest of her life. If an elderly woman breaks her hip from osteoporosis, she has a 20 percent chance of dying from complications within the year. The stronger and larger a woman’s bones are when she is younger, the stronger they will be when she is older.

A muscle can only be as strong as the bones on which it attaches. Lifting weights when a woman is young enlarges her bones and makes them stronger. Just exercising will not strengthen bones. Female marathon runners who stop menstruating because they do not eat enough food to meet their calorie requirements can develop osteoporosis even if they run more than 100 miles per week. To help build bone, exercise must be done against resistance. All women can gain bone by lifting weights at any age.

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