There is no doubt that exercise can be highly beneficial for children. However, there are fundamental differences between training adults and children. It is important to keep these differences in mind when trying to develop a sensible exercise routine for your little ones.
1. Bone Injuries and Growth
A number of parents worry that weight training will affect their children’s growth. However, it’s important to know that weight training can actually improve the bone and muscular systems. Injuries generally occur when children do not have appropriate supervision during weight training sessions. In fact, injuries are much more common in sports such as baseball, tennis, and swimming.
There’s another myth that a child will experience an injury without knowing it. In fact, growth-related injuries are actually quite painful. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that a child will become injured during weight training and not recognize the fact.
2. Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Differences
You should be aware of the fact that a child has a higher heart rate and a lower blood pressure rate than the typical adult. Because a child has a smaller heart and less blood volume, his or her heart tends to beat more often. Meanwhile, the child’s blood pressure is directly proportional to his or her body size.
3. Oxygen Considerations
You need to realize that children do not perform exercises well without oxygen. As a result, children have a limited ability to perform anaerobic activities. This is because there is limited production of the enzymes required for providing energy in the absence of oxygen. Therefore, aerobic activities, such as running and swimming, are best for children.
4. Keeping Kids Cool
It is also important to keep kids cool while exercising. Since a child’s sweat glands are not fully developed, they are less effective at cooling down through evaporation than an adult’s sweat glands would be. As a result, it is important that you dress your children in light cotton exercise attire for their workouts. Also, make sure that your children drink plenty of water to keep them well-hydrated. It is especially important to keep your children cool when they are exercising outdoors in the heat. You might encourage early morning or early evening workouts, when temperatures tend to be cooler.
5. Some Final Thoughts
While you need to make sure that your children take certain precautions, you should not discourage them from exercising. It’s a healthy way for them to use their energy and can help them with their concentration and focus. Also, people who exercise as children are more likely to maintain an exercise routine into adulthood.