Monday, January 31, 2011

Strength Training With Your Six Year Old. New Fitness Guidelines Recommend It

Strength training in the gym was once reserved for older teens and adults.  But the times have changed. Make room for those five year olds!

The new fitness guidelines released last week by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that children and youth aged 5 to 17 get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day, including muscle and bone strengthening activities at least three days a week.

In a January 31, 2011 article in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, they quote Dr. David Behm, a professor of human kinetics and recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's and co-author of the CESP position paper on resistance training in children and adolescents.

"If you look at the relative incidence of injuries of everything Canadian kids do, playing hockey, skateboarding, skiing, etc. the incidence of injury for those sports is much higher than any children who have ever been on a strength training program."

The article notes that lifting weights (under proper supervision and coaching) promotes denser bones, stronger muscles plus stronger and denser tendons and connective tissue.  And no child is too young to start.

Other important benefits include co-ordination and balance, plus more strength and endurance.  Most important, strength training boosts bone mineral density.  Since bone density peaks and begins to decline around the age of 20, it's important to build up a reserve for the later years of decline.

Clinical trials at Usana Health Sciences along with a local university, have shown the importance of young people taking calcium magnesium supplements to build stronger bones.  The studies used Usana's Active Calcium Plus, which I take every day to build my bones as well.

The Globe article doesn't address how a person can improve their bone mineral density after 20 by continuing to do strength training.  I've read articles where strength training with 80 year-olds can begin to build their bone mineral density and strength.  But still, starting early is a wise idea.  Good health is a life long process.

There is a good program for kids who want to strength train at the CrossFit Calgary gym, under the watchful eyes of CrossFit Kids' certified trainers.

Now your options for fitness as a family have expanded from hiking, biking, roller blading, etc. to include time together in the gym.

Deanna Waters   1-888-320-8250
Dedicated to promoting healthy lives, healthy homes and secure incomes.
I'd love to hear from you!

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