A recent media release from the Chiropractor’s Association of Australia (NSW) reminds all parents to be vigilante of their teenager’s exercise habits.
Chiropractors are concerned that young people growing up in Australia are setting themselves up for long term problems with their bones, because of a lack of exercise.
The President of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (NSW), Dr Joseph Ierano said this is the most sedentary period ever in Australia’s history. “Kids today are getting less exercise than ever before. We’re becoming a nation of sitters, rather than doers. Common bad habits they have now will impact their bones as they age and can lead to a risk of fractures and developing osteoporosis. The key to building and maintaining strong bones is a good diet, a healthy dose of vitamin D and plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of kids spending too much time indoors on computers, in front of the TV or playing video games, coupled with poor eating habits.”
Dr Ierano said the adolescent development years are crucial as the bone mass attained determines lifelong skeletal health. Up to 90 per cent of bone mass is developed by 18 in females and 20 in males. If you want strong bones you have to use them, get outdoors and perform weight bearing exercises like brisk walking, jogging, tennis and dancing. Having healthy bones isn’t just about calcium intake, but keeping their skeletal system in tip-top condition.
Dr Ierano said chiropractors were constantly on the lookout for signs of osteoporosis among those at risk.
“It’s important to remember a healthy bone needs a healthy joint. Chiropractors focus on the health of skeletal joints, but also recommend working with your GP and allied health professionals to ensure a balanced diet, appropriate exercise and keeping a healthy vitamin D level. Although teenagers would probably associate weak bones and osteoporosis with old age, many are already predetermining their own future health patterns by their activities, in particular their lack of physical activity, today.”
The Association recommends taking these healthy steps early on in life to build strong bones:
1. Maintain a healthy diet with multiple sources of not only calcium but a mineral balance including magnesium, sodium and trace minerals.
2. Perform weight bearing exercises each day. It could be as easy as going for a short jog or climbing stairs. This allows your bones to adapt to the impact of the weight and pull of muscle by building more cells and becoming stronger.
3. Get outdoors in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes three times per week for a healthy dose of vitamin D which will help the bones absorb calcium.
4. Remember a healthy bone needs a healthy joint – consult your chiropractor for any concerns regarding joint mobility.
Dr Sarah MacNeil
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