Soccer and growth

Patient

Q: Can running for a child athlete stun growth? child has soccer practice 2 times a week for 2 hours

Doctor

A:   No, it is not likely that the running in the soccer practices affect negatively the growth in a child, on the contrary, the regular exercise routine with progressive and gradual demands according to the age, meaning without overuse or overstress is healthy for the children and also helps in keep their weight under control. There is no documented evidence in the medical literature that supports a negative interaction between exercise and growth, on the contrary, certain sports that require a lot of stretching as Basketball, Swimming might facilitate the growing process in children. There are, in fact, many research studies that give evidence that exercise can facilitate stature growth and is a necessary stimulus for reparative growth through its stimulatory effects on secretion of growth hormone (GH) and other anabolic hormones. Exercise provides mechanical and metabolic stimuli that are necessary for hypertrophy of the musculoskeletal system and increased GH secretion for reparative growth. Exercise is also a growth hormone releaser because every time you exercise, blood levels of growth hormone rise. Human growth hormone (hGH) is secreted in a pulsatile fashion, generally following a circadian rhythm. A number of physiological stimuli can initiate hGH secretion, the most powerful, non-pharmacological of which are sleep and exercise.

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