What can the muscle strength of a sixth grader tell you? A whole lot about heart disease risk, actually. A study published in Pediatrics found that adolescents with stronger muscles have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers tested sixth-grade kids for strength capacity. They also measured cardiorespiratory fitness - that is, the body's ability to transport oxygen to muscles during prolonged activity as well as the muscles ability to absorb and use oxygen efficiently. Study authors conclude that the stronger you are relative to your body mass, the healthier you are. This challenges the traditional thought that only high BMI and sedentary behavior is a risk factor for future heart disease. It turns out muscle strength also plays a role in future cardiovascular health.
Strength training or strengthening exercises, sports, and recreational activities can play an important role in your teenager's life. Whether your adolescent is an athlete or not, acquiring muscle strength early in life can set a fine foundation for a healthy future. Youths can benefit from strengthening exercises as long as they are properly trained or supervised for correct technique, form, and safety.