Our Children's Fitness
KIDS TODAY
Another goofy kid !

It sure seems that kids should inherently be physically fit doesn't it? I mean, don't kids all run around all day playing baseball, basketball, and football. Don't they ride their bikes all of the time and play hide-and-seek, chasing each other around like lunatics? No, unfortunately that is not the case. They watch TV, play Video Games, bury their faces in their cell phones and eat Little Debbie cakes.

Don't have a cow, man!

WHAT TO DO

That is a good question. Setting a good example is the best start. I have two children, both adults now, however my wife and I did try to set a good example by working out regularly with weights, doing some aerobics and leading a somewhat active lifestyle, (not counting the time I spend authoring, editing, and updating this infernal web site!). We also tried to encourage exercise for them, but as anyone who has kids knows, they know infinitely more than you or I, and trying to push anything too hard will only be met by resistance, So subtlety is needed. My kids did get interested once in awhile by my weight bench and weights, if only because it is a cool contraption.



SHOULD KIDS LIFT WEIGHTS ?
You go girl!

I think kids should exercise. Some of that exercise should be in the form of some type of resistance training. Starting out at a young age kids should climb ropes, do chin-ups and push-ups, and climb around on monkey bars. Kids muscles are already in a growing mode, and hormones abound, so, in my opinion, excessive stimulation is not needed to produce positive results as it is in adults. Trying to manipulate the muscle adaptation process too much in kids could have potential negative effects when their bodies are in the process of forming. Better safe than sorry, especially when our kids are at stake, (sure, they drive me out of my flippin' gourd, but I'm kind of attached to the little shits anyway).



WHEN SHOULD KIDS START ?

Krusty I think it is obviously not a good idea for very young children, (infants and toddlers), to try to weight train. However, once they have reached the third or fourth grade level, or even sooner in some cases, many kids are already being introduced to organized sports, and physical fitness then becomes a necessity, if only to help avoid injury. After all, muscle is a much better shock absorber than fat. Again, intensity levels should not be too high, and aerobic exercise should be emphasized to a certain degree, if only to offset all the ice cream cones and the like, which also should be somewhat limited, but hey, kids gotta be kids! As they get older, approaching junior high school some standard weight training should be introduced, however intensity levels should be kept fairly moderate. Once they reach high school, obtaining what are essentially adult bodies, they should be working out like adults, forming strong healthy bodies that they can maintain for life. As for gender, just as in adults, I believe males and females should train in much the same ways and let the hormone levels determine masculinity and femininity. Your young daughter will only get healthy and fit by training with weights, not masculine.



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September 11, 2001