It’s well known that part of an adult’s healthy lifestyle includes lifting heavy weights. you lift heavy things, and your muscles become healthier. Your posture improves. You feel better. You look better. You become more fit. Lifting weights can help prevent chronic degenerative diseases of aging, and it can prevent the most disabling conditions that working adults face, namely, depression, back pain, and other body aches.
You should be lifting weights, but what about your kids?
It turns out that your kids should be lifting and playing too. Here is a well-done set of guidelines published by Canadian Sport for Life. They say that being active helps kids understand the rules of play, the ethics of sport, and can make them more well-rounded. Kids should be engaged in a wide-variety of sports, and not just specialize on one. The exception to this rule of no specialization is certain sports such as gymnastics or diving.
So, part of this having a wide variety of activity includes weight lifting. The Well Blog at the NYTimes says that lifting weights for kids is essential. It turns out that kids as young as 6 years of age can build muscle strength when they lift. Especially on a consistent basis, but kids won’t add bulk like adults do.
Muscle strength training in kids tends to make existing muscle fibers more efficient. When your kids lift, their nerves can recruit more muscle fibers as they do so. Their nerves and muscles become more efficient, and they become stronger.
Kids grow more both physiologically and psychologically when they lift. just like you, when they lift, they notice that they become stronger. They feel good about themselves. Kids get in touch with their genetic primal selves. They become freed from the their imprisoned lives in front of a classroom or in front of a glowing computer screen.
By strength training, kids become conditioned to become stronger and less likely to become injured. They can go out into the playground and the real world and their bodies can take care of themselves. Between the ages of 7-12 is a very important time in a kid’s growth where they benefit the most from strength training. And, at this age, you don’t need special weights or weight machines. Kids can do body-weight exercises like pushups and jump-squats and they will gain.
Todd Lloyd, DC
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