Early strengthening activities can lead to a decrease in cardio health risks in children and adolescents, according to results of a new study by a Baylor University professor and a team of researchers.
Until recently, treatment for adolescent obesity and associated health problems has focused mostly on diet modifications and aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming.
But a recent research study appearing this month in Pediatrics by Paul M. Gordon, Ph.D., professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation department in Baylor’s School of Education concludes that adding strength-building exercises will help adolescents reduce the risks of cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other health problems.
Gordon and his team of researchers collected data from over 1,400 boys and girls, ages 10 to 12. Results of the study showed that boys and girls with greater strength-to-body mass ratios had lower BMIs, lower percent body fat, smaller waist circumferences, higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, and significantly lower clinical markers of risk.
Combined with other recent research, Gordon said the results of this study provide “strong support” for the use of strengthening exercises to supplement traditional weight loss interventions among pediatric populations.