Performing physical activity in adolescence is key to having healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis

The adolescence is very important in the formation stage of our bones . A recent systematic review has confirmed (as we discussed here ) that the realization of physical activity at this stage is a vital strategy for this purpose.

Osteoporosis, a disease that we can and must prevent

The osteoporosis is a progressive systemic skeletal disease characterized by a low bone mass and micro-architectural one bone tissue deterioration, which results in bone fragility , with consequent increased susceptibility to fracture.

The incidence of osteoporosis increases significantly with advancing age and is usually silent, with no signs and symptoms of decreased bone density.

The bone fracture is usually presented as the first presentation of osteoporosis, attributed to this disease, in turn, morbidity and significant costs, and a quality of life reduced.

Therefore, preventive strategies are a crucial first step to overcome this global problem. The prevention of osteoporosis is carried out by maximizing the accumulation of bone tissue during the years of growth, maintaining the acquisition of bone tissue during adulthood and reducing bone loss in the elderly .

Adolescence, a vital stage for our bones

During adolescence there is an accumulation of bone mineral, which continues to accumulate until the bone mass peak is reached , which refers to the maximum accumulation of bone mass and strength deposited in the life of a person at the end of the period of increase.

The time period differs , either during the first two decades, the beginning of the third decade, the end of the third decade of life or even as early as the 16 years of age.

After the bone mass peak is reached, the bone is lost at a rate of approximately 0.5% -1.0% per year in most of the skeletal site. Therefore, peak bone mass , together with subsequent bone loss , are important determinants associated with the risks of osteoporosis.

Interestingly, adolescence offers a window of opportunity in the critical years surrounding the age of maximum bone mineral accumulation.

About 26% of the bone mineral peak of the whole body of adults accumulates during this key time. Thus, the teenage years could be the last opportunity to maximize peak bone mass. As we have mentioned previously, a high peak of bone mass is an important determinant in the prevention of osteoporosis and the risk of osteoporotic fracture.

A high peak of bone mass is an important determinant in the prevention of osteoporosis and the risk of osteoporotic fracture

The early detection and prevention to improve bone health is only possible by identifying factors of modifiable lifestyle that can increase bone mineral accumulation.

During this “critical window”, early detection could identify adolescents at risk of low bone mass , followed by modification of lifestyle factors.

Several modifiable lifestyle factors can contribute to adolescent bone health. These include physical activity , medications, body weight , healthy nutritionand other lifestyle factors, such as smoking , that can impair bone health.

One of the most important factors, surely the most, is physical activity , which plays a very important role during this stage of life for the prevention of future osteoporosis.

Physical activity in adolescence is key

A recent systematic review has evaluated and provided information on the influence of adolescents’ physical activity on the maximization of maximum bone mass (peak bone mass). The results have been very clear, so I’ll be brief.

The increase of regular physical activity during the age of accumulation of maximum bone bone is beneficial in the promotion of bone acquisition (bone mass, bone geometry, bone architecture and bone strength) as a whole. Therefore, the implementation of regular physical activity initiated in early life, particularly during adolescence, is the key to achieving a healthy bone and a practical way to overcome the increasing incidence of osteoporosis and the future risk of fracture.

Once again, the importance of physical activity in our lives is demonstrated . We must become aware once we have to exercise throughout our lives (in all stages) if we want to have better health and quality of life and reduce the risk of disease and death.

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