People all over the world are constantly worried that the new generation of kids are getting unhealthier and fatter as time passes. Most of the questions pertain in relation to how to get kids to exercise more.
In this article, I will go through a couple of the most commonly asked questions in regards to getting kids fit, and then I’ll give you my personal recommendations that will help you get your kids up off the sofa and out into the wide-open world, running around and enjoying every moment while becoming super healthy in the process.
However, before we get into answering questions, I want to go through what the kids of this generation face. The truth is in front of us, and it is the fact that most kids are really not that healthy. With every passing moment more and more kids are getting bigger and more lethargic than any previous generation.
Back in the ’60s, it has been stated that over 45% of kids in America would either walk or bike to school on a daily basis, whereas today that number has reduced down to 12%.
These are facts that are in front of us and really can’t be denied. Just look at the kids around you today, and you will notice that they are either busy watching television, or they have their heads buried in various gadgets such as the iPad or computer.
This trend usually continues into adulthood with lazy and fat children becoming lazy and fat adults and vice versa.
But the wonderful thing is that if you just implement a few basic rules, then you can change all of this. Children really do love to move about and have the natural instinct to get out there and explore the world.
Now that we have the facts covered, we can move onto answering the common questions that parents have.
Can Weight Lifting Stunt Growth?
Practically everyone in the world feels that a child that lifts weight will most certainly stunt his/her own growth.
However while this is a popular belief, there has yet to be a single piece of evidence to prove it.
In fact, there are many research studies out there that show us that children that lift light weights actually develop stronger bones, gain lean muscle mass, and in general, are a lot healthier than those kids that don’t.
So in reality we really can’t say whether lifting weights will stunt a child’s growth because when done in a controlled environment with light weights, a child’s health can actually improve. But if you let the child lift weights that are extremely heavy and with bad form, then of course this will inevitably cause injury and result in the child possibly stunting his growth. However, this can happen with any sport that is physically engaging.
Should a Child Follow a Structured Fitness Program?
It all comes down to the individual child. The only reason that fitness programs, in general, have become popular in recent years is that most of us lead sedentary lives where being physically fit is no longer a necessity for survival.
Going for a walk or a hike isn’t compulsory anymore, but instead something we choose to do.
Whereas previous generations of humans would be running around all day, hunting, lifting heavy things to survive, and therefore keeping fit and active, most of us have to get to the gym to see the same effect.
The truth is that most children out there are really active and enjoy running around because it is in their nature to do so. If your child happens to be one of these types then a structured program is not really needed.
Structured programs are great for those kids that have gotten used to living lazy and sedentary lives, and would rather stay inside and play video games than get outside and run around.
Simple Recommendations To Keep Your Kids Fit and Active
Personally, this is exactly what I would do with my own kids to help them grow up to be healthy, fit, and strong human beings.
1. Focus On Play
Believe me, the most important thing you can do right now is to make sure that all the exercise you encourage your kid to do is focused around play.
If you allow your kids to naturally get out there and play they will want to get out into the world and explore as much as they possibly can. The more they do this, the more they are going to want to stay fit and active because they will begin to enjoy it.
For those of you that want to introduce more structured fitness programs into their lives, later on, will find that your child will be a lot more open and happy to follow the route. But never forget that if you want your kids to truly enjoy exercise then the play has to become a fundamental part of it.
2. Let Them Climb The World
Whatever they want to climb such as trees or pull up bars let them do it. In fact, you should make the effort to actually get a pull-up bar installed in your home so that as soon as your kid is able to climb on it he can.
3. Let Them Run Around, Climbing On and Off Things
The truth is really in front of you. Children are always falling down. But the solution here isn’t to stop them from being active and being their natural selves, instead, you should teach them how to land safely should they fall.
Once they know how to land safely they will be able to enjoy playing and exercising more and you will be less worried that they will get injured.
4. Let Them Get Out There and Swim
Swimming is one of the most important skills that you can give to your child. It will actually serve them for the rest of their lives.
The facts are truly simple and that is that your kids will more than likely love participating in dangerous activities. They are going to want to get out there and be a part of different sports such as skateboarding etc. They will want to run around and climb trees and then jump off them.
They will want to play all sorts of sports and will likely get injured as a result.
The reality is that anything that you attempt to do that is physical, will have an element of risk associated with it. There is nothing you can do to prevent injury so just allow them to continue and be there when they do get hurt.
The more you encourage your kids to get out into the world and explore it actively, the more likely it is that they will grow up strong, healthy, and happy people. The more experience they have on how to handle themselves, the less likely it is that they will ever experience any kind of serious injury.
And once your kids have that desire to be active and healthy they are never going to be able to let it go, so your kids will grow up wanting to get out there and be active.
Trust me there is no better gift that you can give to your child.