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What Are the Effects of Exercise on the Skeletal System?

By Brandon May
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The effects of exercise on the skeletal system is quite clear in scientific literature discussing anatomy and physiology, mainly stating that physical exercise can increase bone length and mass in most people. Adults whose bones have already reached their full-length potential merely gain strength and density in bones through exercise and mechanical stress placed on the body. The main effects of exercise on the skeletal system of a child usually involve the elongation of bone; however, care should be taken to decrease unneeded stress on the growing body. Since bones can lose calcium deposits as the body ages, it is agreed that many individuals should seek weight-bearing exercises to maintain a healthy skeletal system.

When a mechanical stress is applied on the body through exercise like running, jumping or jogging, the bones of the skeletal system experience both immediate and long-term effects. The main beneficial effects of exercise on the skeletal system include the strengthening and building of bone density in children and adults. Through physical activity, the stress placed on the bones stimulates the secretion of calcium salts that will then deposit into the bone. Since calcium is the main component of bone and is needed in adequate amounts to maintain bone strength and density, many doctors recommend these exercises for preventing bone-related disorders.

One of the other strong effects of exercise on the skeletal system includes the elongation of bone in children and adolescents, mainly during rapid stages of growth. When growth plates are open, physical stress can trigger calcium to deposit in these areas and promote elongation and lengthening of the bone. Proper nutrition is also crucial at this stage in physical growth, as plenty of calcium, vitamin K and vitamin D are needed in conjunction with a healthy exercise program. Running, cycling and other various sports can all contribute to proper bone growth.

For the most part, plenty of physical activity for healthy children and adults results in a healthy skeletal system. It should be noted that too much stress placed on the bones, especially if they are young or fragile, can result in negative consequences. Broken bones can be common if stress is applied to the bones in an incorrect or distorted way, making it important to receive good advice on proper exercise habits and techniques. Stretching before a workout or exercise program can also ensure that the skeletal system remains strong.

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Discussion Comments

By Heavanet — On Feb 01, 2014

It's never to late to start an exercise regimen that will help make your bones stronger. In fact, exercise as you age is vital to keeping your bones flexible and strong. If you haven't exercised in years, start by checking with your doctor or a professional trainer before you begin. He or she will be able to advise you on the best exercises that will provide the most benefits for your bones.

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