The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Is excercising at a young age unhealthy? I started doing push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, and squats at like the age of 12. Is this unhealthy? Does working out at a young age increase hormone levels?

Sam (age 15)


Answer

"For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come" (I Timothy 4:7).

Exercise is needed at all ages. If anything people in the United States get too little exercise. Of course, it won't prevent all diseases or make you live forever, but it does let you get more out of life than being a couch potato.

There are two things which concern people regarding exercising while you are growing. First, if excessive weight is being used, it is possible to damage the growth plates. Your bones mainly grow from the ends, where the joints are. Too much weight can cause the ends of the bones to grind into each other and cause damage. This is why most fitness clubs have warnings restricting the use of weight machines for young people. The second concern is when someone exercises so heavily that they use up all the excess body fat in their body. Working to that extent doesn't leave enough energy in the body to reach maximum growth. Usually it is only extreme athletes, such as Olympic contenders, who must watch out for this.

But doing push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, and the like will neither over strain or over exert your body.