According to a new study, playing basketball and soccer may be better for young athletes’ bone health than running alone.
The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that young athletes who ran had lower levels of bone density than those who played either of the two team sports.
“These findings suggest that team sports, which are typically associated with more frequent collisions and jarring motions, may be better for bone health than running,” said study co-author Dr. John Hopkins, of the University of Missouri.
The study looked at 98 healthy, active adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16. All of the participants were initially enrolled in either running or soccer programs, but four years later, when the study ended, only the soccer and basketball players were still playing their respective sports.
The researchers found that, compared to the runners, the soccer and basketball players had higher levels of bone mineral content and bone mineral density in their legs. They also had higher levels of aprotein that is involved in bone formation.
“This study provides evidence that, at least in the short-term, team sports may be better for bone health than running,” said Hopkins. “Further studies are needed to determine if these benefits persist into adulthood.”
There is a common misconception that running is the best form of exercise for young athletes in terms of bone health. However, recent studies have shown that sports such as soccer and basketball may actually be better for young athletes’ bone health than running alone.
One of the main reasons for this is that running is a high-impact activity which can put a lot of stress on the bones and joints. This can lead to injuries such as stress fractures. Soccer and basketball, on the other hand, are low-impact activities which are less likely to cause injuries.
Another reason why soccer and basketball may be better for young athletes’ bone health is that they require the use of more muscles than running does. This means that the bones and joints are better supported and are less likely to experience wear and tear.
So, if you are a young athlete, don’t feel like you have to stick to running in order to keep your bones healthy. Soccer and basketball are both great alternatives that come with their own set of benefits.