Bulk Up Those Boy Biceps

If you’ve got a teenage boy at home, you may want to encourage him to bulk up his muscles a bit.

A recent study out of Sweden makes an intriguing correlation between low muscle density in teenage boys and higher death rates (from a variety of causes) in adult men.

In what may simply be a correlation between healthy physical habits of youth (such as regular exercise) and longevity; the study involved a comprehensive look at the health of a group of more than 1 million boys (ages 16-19) who were followed for 24 years.

The researchers found a fairly startling difference in the death rates of boys who had high muscle mass as teens and their peers who were weaker in their youth. Indeed, deaths from cancer, heart disease and hypertension-related causes were significantly lower in the group that had been muscular teens.

It sounds like a call to really strong arms for teenage boys!

Of course, many muscle-bound teens get their bulk from playing team sports–which aren’t for everybody– but there are other physical outlets, from individualized sports to biking, hiking, and running that can help build strength. Sedentary boys may want to consider these options to keep themselves lean now and  healthy for the long haul.

The Swedish study was reported recently in the journal BMJ.