Written by: Bowie Matteson
The summer months are the greatest opportunity to get kids to try new things. They’ve got entire days to fill and hundreds of chances to dabble in any number of activities, crafts or interests. Any one of these has the potential to blossom into a passion, bringing new friends, mentors and learning experiences.
I’m here to make the case for weight training. This summer surround your son or daughter with barbells, bumper plates, dumbbells and medicine balls. Get them out of the house and swinging kettlebells, making leaps and bounds, sprinting to the finish line and hitting personal records.
Signing your child up for a weight training camp/class/membership can set them up for a lot of great things. This series of posts will cover all the bases of what you’re getting into when you get under the barbell and on the turf.
Reason #1: Prioritizing Personal Fitness
Getting your child familiar with a weight room or training facility is one of the greatest things you can do for their long-term health and wellness. Making fitness a part of their life is a must to living happy, healthier lives. Not only will they become more coordinated, body aware and develop their gross motor skills, you’re investing in their health. A number of studies have gone over the effects of exercise on heart disease, Type II diabetes, and certain types of cancers. It’s also been used to fight depression and improve cognitive skills. This is all too pertinent to our little ones with childhood obesity at an all-time high. 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. are labeled obese.
So make an impression early. If fitness is as important as you’re going to say it is, set them up for success and make movement a mainstay in their lives. Group fitness can be a fun way to move around, meet new friends, and build confidence.
And forget those myths about stunted kids who tried to lift too early. There’s no research behind it and weightlifting is statistically one of the safest sports you can do. It all comes down to quality coaching and thoughtful programming that moves at a pace appropriate to the lifter. We’ll go over later in the series what to look for when finding a trainer or coach.
Next time we’ll talk about some of the life skills weight training develops and how it leads to greater discipline, teaches goal-setting and how to handle failure. Stay tuned!