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Lazy Bones: April 28, 2014

Running- it’s a popular past time in Southwest Florida where mild temps make it easy for folks to find their footing.

“Running is something that can give you a lot of exercise. Help your body grow; strengthen your bones. You don't need a lot of equipment,” says Rick Snyderman.

He should know – he has been outfitting runners in Fort Myers with athletic shoes for decades. Now doctors are getting on the bandwagon, trying to encourage young people to get moving. Orthopedic surgeons are mounting a campaign - aimed at lazy bones.

“It’s important for people to know that their bone is alive, it’s constantly being remodeled and it’s important for exercise and weight-bearing activity so that your bones aren’t soft,” says Dr. David Eichten, an orthopedic surgeon on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Up until your mid-20s, your body is accumulating bone mass; actually developing bone. After that it starts declining. In women the decline speeds up after menopause. But setting an active pace keeps your bones strong.  Experts believe you set yourself up for success later in life by building bone mass when you’re young.

“Your bone responds to stress. So when there’s stress on the bones that’s when you get an increase in bone density,” says Dr. Eichten. “So any weight-bearing activity is going to be very good for your bones.”

Any exercise is good. Weight lifting increases bone mass and running does too, with all of your body weight pressing downward with each stride.

“Absolutely,” says Snyderman. “You're putting tremendous pressure on your feet.”

“I definitely think it could make a difference; prevent fractures down the road,” Dr. Eichten says.

Just one more reason to get up and move.