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.
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 ?
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).
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.