Fitness in Childhood Reduces Risk Later
According to a recent study, children who are physically fit are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome as adults. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes and affects 20 to 25 percent of all adults in the U.S.
The study gathered information from participants over a period of time. It showed that children and adolescents with high levels of muscle fitness—strength, endurance, power— between the ages of 9 and 15 had an 80 percent decreased risk of developing metabolic syndrome as adults, compared to children with low levels of muscular fitness. According to researchers, this benefit was independent of the children’s cardiorespiratory fitness levels.
This study supports earlier research about the importance of exercise and physical fitness in children and teens. Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults—and are at increased risk for health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
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