How to Help Your Child Exercise
Sometimes a young child will want to exercise and maybe even lift weights. There are different opinions on whether or not this is safe for a 6 to 8 year old. When done properly, this type of exercise can be very beneficial for a young child.
One thing to keep in mind is that a child is not a smaller version of an adult. A child has different emotions, different anatomy, and a different body. You shouldn’t have a small child doing the same routine you are doing.
The skeleton doesn’t mature until a person is anywhere from 14 to 22 years old. Childhood exercise can have large effects on the skeletal health of a girl that can last her whole life. Children also have a greater risk for overuse injuries, like Osgood Schlatter disease. Kids also do not have the same ability to regulate their body temperatures as an adult does, since they have a larger surface area in comparison to their muscle mass. This makes it easier for them to suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Likewise, they have a harder time developing speed and strength, and their cardio systems are different, so they will not be able to exercise as long as an adult. A child can get hurt much more easily without a good warm up, so a warm up is very important.
However, a young child can really build their strength by using weight training. This is more from neurological reasoning than muscle growth.
Before starting a child on any workout program, you need to get the o.k. from their doctor, and don’t overdo it. A good repetition for a child is 8 to 12 and a range appropriate work load.
Spread out workouts, allowing 1 to 2 full days between them. Form is much more important that amount of weight here too, and remember that a good warm up is needed. Start out lightly, and add weight accordingly. Don’t have more than 3 sessions a week, and make sure the child gets a lot of water, as it is much easier for a young child to get dehydrated than it is for an adult.