Chidren And Exercise

Chidren And Exercise

 

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If you have a child of 6 to 8 years old that wants

to start exercising and lifting weights, you may

find yourself wondering what you should do.  While

some think it is perfectly fine for children to

exercise, there are others that think differently.

 

The long and short of it is that yes, it is

beneficial for your child to partake in exercise

or a weight training regimen although there are a

few things that you should keep in mind once this

starts to happen.

 

No matter how you look at it, children aren’t

minature adults and therefore you can’t use the

same methods with growing children that you can use

with adults, as children are different from adults

emotionally, anatomically, and physiologically.

 

All children have immature skeletons, as their

bones don’t mature until they get 14 – 22 years of

age.  With girls, exercise during childhood can

have very critical effects on bone health that

can last for their entire lives.

 

Children are often times vulnerable to growth

related overuse injuries such as Osgood schlatter

disease.  Children have immature temperature

regulation systems due to their having a large

surface area compared to their muscle mass which

will cause them to be more susceptible to injury

when they aren’t properly warmed up.

 

Children don’t sweat as much as adults do, so

they will be more susceptible to heat exhaustion

as well as a heat stroke.  Due to their low muscle

mass and immature hormone system, it makes it

harder for them to develop strength and speed.

Their breathing and heart response during

exercise are also different from an adults, which

will affect their capacity for exercise.

 

On the other hand, young boys and girls can

drastically improve their strength with weight

training although opposed to adults, neurological

factors instead of muscle growth factors are mostly

responsible.

 

When you consider programs for children, first and

foremost you should obtain a medical clearance.  

The first approach to designing a program is to

establish a repetition range of 8 – 12 and keep

the work load appropriate for the range.

 

You should ensure that workouts are spread out

enough to have at least 1 – 2 full days of rest

between workouts. The main focus when working out

should be on the form of every exercise performed,

and not on the amount of weight being lifted.

 

Before weight training, warm up and stretching

should be done.  Start your children off with light

loads and then make adjustments accordingly.  No

more than 3 non consecutive exercise sessions

should be done in a week.  You should also see to

it that they drink plenty of water before, during,

and after exercise.  Getting enough water is very

important with exercise, as it is often times very

easy to get dehydrated – especially with children.

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