When I was younger I had someone tell me “You want to work out? You’re too young.” Boy was that person wrong. Being active doesn’t come with an age restriction. The similarity is its all exercise, but activities are a bit different. I don’t recommend babies to deadlift (; But in the end, consistent activity can help everybody!
Why Should Kids Exercise?
Childhood obesity is at its all-time highest. Nearly 1 in 3 kids are overweight, which carries serious health risks. Some risks can develop early on such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and mental stress (low self-esteem, depression, etc.) Not to mention the likelihood of getting heart disease later on in life.
We can also think on the opposite side. Exercise can greatly benefit a child. They get to develop a better mind-muscle connection and learn how to smoothly control their developing body. This can be improved agility, hand-eye coordination, and balance. Practicing this while young will help keep these abilities strong when older. Moving around will prevent muscle from becoming tight. Kids are generally more flexible, but that won’t be true if they sit all day. Being planted in front of a TV or phone will shorten the muscle and eventually develop bad posture/ movement patterns.
How Should Kids Exercise?
How kids exercise will depend on their age and interests. All sports are great because it gets them moving and being social. When playing a sport usually it’s cardiovascular which doesn’t need any restrictions, but when it comes to preparing for a sport and weight lifting there will be limits. The biggest mistake is having a youth lift heavyweights. When young the main focus should be form and technique. The young body doesn’t need excessive load on the muscles. They are learning how to get the right muscles firing at the right time, and how to do so smoothly. Here’s a chart for guidelines:
Children- anything that gets them up and moving! Games are a great selection because making it fun will increase participation. Startup a game of tag, throw the ball around or have a pillow fight!
Teens- This is the time frame where sports start to be more of an interest. Great exercises for this age group are agility drills, plyometrics, calisthenics (bodyweight movements), and lightweights.
18-20’s- Your body is ready to take on more resistance training to develop a strong foundation. This can include heavier weight lifting, just remember all the good form you have been practicing!
Do you need a place to exercise with your youth? iGYM allows kids as young as the age 10 to come in and start their fitness journey. Contact us today to start!