A recent White House Task Force on Obesity Report to the President, to solve the problem of obesity within Generation, released some startling information that obesity has become an epidemic in the United States and it is now considered a national health crisis.
According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies are about nine million American children over six years old considered obese. In addition, one study found that obese six to eight year olds were ten times more likely to become obese adults than children with lower body mass.
It is important for parents to take the responsibility to feed their children healthy food and monitor their consumption in the early years, and good eating habits stay with them for life. In addition, children need exercise, which includes strength training, not only to help them maximize bone growth of the youth, but also because children are less fit than they have ever been and strength training plays an important role in reducing body fat.
The problem is that we often try to train children in the same way and to train adults, and guess what, just like many of the adults, they get bored! One of the problems has also been in the past we were afraid that strength training might not be good for children. Some kids were getting injured when training with traditional barbells and dumbbells and doctors also feared that it might not be good for growing bones. Of course we now know that if done properly, the exact opposite is true.
Physical education researchers have found that children younger than 5 or 6 years old can strengthen muscles and bones with strength and resistance training. When properly performed, strength training can increase bone density and muscle mass as well as tendon and ligament strength. It can also improve the joints and significantly reduce the risk of obesity.
children we call this “preliminary.” It will not only help to build strong bones and big muscles for life, but it will also help kids avoid injury in the gym or on the sports field.
When you are training your kids, you need to make sure they are having fun. Putting them on treadmills, and forcing them into traditional strength and conditioning program built for athletes and adults can burn them out and bore them quickly. Children can and should still practice with conventional equipment, but it should be done with a precise blend of conventional and unconventional moves that will keep them interested, engaged, and fit for life.
Medicine balls are one way to make it more interesting for the children. They look a lot like soccer balls and come in different sizes and colors. Medicine balls can range from 1 to 12 pounds or more. They were actually used around the turn of the last century for the rehabilitation of the elderly, and as with so many development skills that they have re-surfaced and kids love them.
Medicine balls are great for kids because they are new and interesting to them and practice them seem more like play than work. There are many different exercises fun they can do with medicine balls to work the whole body, and they are much safer for children than traditional weight training equipment.