In a study done by scientists at Louisiana State University published in Pedatric Physical Therapy (April 2006) it was discovered that soccer was the best sport to promote bone mineral density or BMD in adolescent girls. Succintly put, playing soccer in youth builds strong bones. And it was rated better than weight- lifting and swimming in building bone strength.
"Beyond the basic premise that kids need exercise, our study suggests that weight-bearing exercise with skeletal impact needs to be promoted during youth to preserve future bone health," researcher James W. Bellew of Louisiana State University in Shreveport said in a prepared statement.
The study compared the bone mineral density (BMD) of three groups of adolescent female athletes: 29 swimmers, 16 soccer players, and 19 weightlifters. BMD is a standard measurement of bone strength.
The soccer players had the highest BMD levels, followed by weightlifters and swimmers. Not only is soccer a weight-bearing sport, it also places repetitive impact on the skeleton, which further promotes bone development, Bellew noted.
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So now we know that kids who hate drinking milk can substitute that by playing an hour of soccer each day. Just kidding! Both are important.