ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
CANCER
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Tune Up Your Health With Music
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Add your Article

Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls

WEDNESDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Want your teenage daughter to have strong bones? Steer her to soccer or other impact sports, experts suggest, and you may help her prevent low bone density later in life.

Sports such as soccer -- with the combination of weight-bearing exercise and repetitive, "impact-loading" from jumping and running -- have been shown to build bone mineral density in adolescent girls better than some other activities.

Building bone density during the teen years is considered crucial for healthy bone development, helping to ward off osteoporosis, the disease that causes bones to become brittle and break later on in life. Peak bone mass is typically achieved by age 30, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

"It's those years of adolescence, and early teens to late 20s, that are most important" for bone building," said James W. Bellew, an associate professor of physical therapy at Louisiana State University Health Science Center-Shreveport.

Bellew and his colleagues compared the effects of soccer, weight-lifting and swimming on the bone mineral density of teen and pre-teen girls, ages 10 to 17. The groups included 29 swimmers, 16 soccer players and 19 weightlifters.

Soccer players had the best bone density, followed by the weight-lifters and then the swimmers. Bellew's team compared the groups' average bone mineral density to what is considered the norm for a 25-year-old woman.

Soccer players' bone density was significantly greater than the norm, and the weight-lifting group was equal to the norm. The swimmers were lower than the norm. Still, that's not cause for alarm, he said, because the girls were still in their teens and have time to accrue bone density.

Soccer and other "impact" sports expose the body to repeated impact, and that activity is thought helpful to bone health. "Basketball and volleyball may very well do the same" as soccer in building bone, he said. Jogging and tennis may also be good, he added.

The study results, published in the journal Pediatric Physical Therapy, don't surprise Susan Randall, senior director of education at the National Osteoporosis Foundation. "Swimming is not a weight-bearing exercise," she said. "Soccer increases the loading on the bone which actually stimulates bone production."

Bellew isn't discouraging those who love swimming to give up the sport. "The odds are the swimmers' density [in the study] will be fine, because they are active, but our data suggest they aren't accruing as much bone as those who do weight-bearing exercise."

"If your primary objective is to increase bone mass, swimming is not the best," he said. "But in terms of weight maintenance, it's good."

Besides exercise, Bellew suggests teens can boost their bone health by reducing their soda intake and increasing their milk consumption. "Genetics is probably the largest factor," he added, so those with a family history of osteoporosis may want to pay even more attention to bone-building exercise.

Randall agreed that families should pay even closer attention to their children if a parent or grandparent suffers from low bone density. And parents can emphasize a healthy diet for their sons as well as daughters. While men are less likely than women to suffer osteoporosis, they still need to build bone, she said.

One of the first foods teen girls often abandon are dairy products, Randall said, because they perceive them as fattening. Parents should be sure their children get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day. That's roughly the amount of calcium in four glasses of milk. And the milk can be low-fat, she said.

-Kathleen Doheny

More information

To learn more about bone health, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.



SOURCES: Susan Randall, R.N., C.F.N.P., senior director of education, National Osteoporosis Foundation, Washington, D.C.; James W. Bellew, P.T., Ed.D., associate professor of physical therapy, Louisiana State University Health Science Center-Shreveport; Pediatric Physical Therapy

Last Updated: May 07, 2008

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