With the correct approach, strength training offers super benefits to kids as young as age eight. It can help the most athletic player improve his/her game, and the most timid bookworm or avid video-gamer gain self-confidence and maintain a healthy weight.
Consider increasing your child’s strength and endurance while decreasing risks for injury with properly executed strength training. Beyond sports traditionally associated with muscle, strength training can improve performance in such activities as dance, skating, and cheerleading. It also increases metabolism, and improves cholesterol levels and heart health.
In a world where children are enticed with sugary snacks, computer games, and extensive home theater systems, they deserve to be introduced to a healthy pastime. Strength training can be fun and relieve stress when done properly. Here are some tips on getting your brood off the couch and onto the Exercise Floor. Don’t have a couch potato for offspring? These tips will have even the most accomplished young athlete playing at the next level.
Discuss a strength training program with one of the Center’s personal trainers. Visit the Center’s Web site for a detailed background of each trainer (on the biography page). Some have specific experience working with children. A trainer can offer advice on the most effective workout based on age, skill, individual goals, and any athletic interests.
A personal trainer can also act as a fitness mentor to your child, encouraging healthy habits at an early age that will last a lifetime. With ambitious positive goals, children carve a path that will take them in the right direction through challenging teen years and beyond. Becoming conscientious about healthy nutrition, weight, and attitude helps lead to smart decisions about the tough issues facing kids, including alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.
“Often, strength training is new to kids. They are a fresh slate, eager to learn proper technique and form,” shares Regional Fitness Manager Doug Hatten. With no bad habits to break on the Exercise Floor, children have an advantage from the start of their training program. “Technique and form should be the central focus, at this stage,” Doug adds. Take advantage of a child’s openness to learn and spark interest in strength training as well as overall fitness. Increasing reps or weights, and advancing the workout, can come later.
Strength training can provide a bonding opportunity for you and your kids. Work out together, where you can offer encouragement, provide exercise tips from your own experience, and catch up on the latest friendship drama or game stats. During this quality time, where the focus is on the workout, children often feel comfortable expressing themselves opposed to a face-to-face chat over the kitchen table.
Teach your exerciser the importance of a good warm-up and cool-down. Basic aerobic activity for about five minutes prior to training and light stretches for the same afterwards is all that’s needed. Try running in place, jumping jacks, or even some silly skipping for the younger set.
If you don’t hire a personal trainer, check with one to confirm the correct amount of weight and repetitions for your child. Also, keep in mind, weights aren’t always necessary in strength training. The body can provide its own resistance in exercises such as push-ups. Experiment and learn what works best for your child. Keep boredom away by changing the routine frequently. Spot check his/her workouts for safety of execution.
The Center prides itself on its diverse membership, and that includes a community of all ages. “We focus on helping kids perform better in sports and everyday life,” indicates Doug on the Center’s youngest clientele.
Membership starts at age 14. In addition, the Center provides programs for even the youngest tots, including fitness classes, aquatic programs, and Childcare fitness while parents enjoy a peaceful workout of their own. Some fitness offerings are “parent and me” style to benefit both.
It is important to demonstrate how fitness and wellness is an ongoing process for which we need to make time. Simply being present at the Center sends a message to children about placing health as a top priority. We’re family-health centric at the Center and hope that instills a lifelong quest for the healthiest life possible at every age.