Kids Fitness Training

Everyone knows that kids are in the midst of, as pediatric exercise scientist Avery Faigenbaum calls it, an “unfitness epidemic.” According to a July report on the nation’s obesity problem, fewer between the ages of 6 and 17 take part in regular vigorous activity, defined as 20 minutes at a stretch of exercise intense enough to break a sweat and prompt heavy breathing. But on the other, smaller end of the spectrum, never have youth sports been taken so seriously by those who participate (and their parents): In addition to high school teams, private club teams, all-star traveling teams, sports camps, and the like are de rigueur for many teen and kid athletes.

So how to get from point A (the sofa) to point B (the school soccer team), or at least to somewhere in between? Enter youth fitness and training programs, which run the gamut from inexpensive programs at the YMCA or local Boys and Girls Club to sessions with private instructors (often as an offshoot of a general training business)that cost as much as—or more than—a personal trainer at the gym. Here’s a tip to keep in mind when you’re considering a program. Don’t assume your out-of-shape kid can go directly to the playing field. Ideally, a kid shouldn’t go right from the sofa to team tryouts, says Faigenbaum, an associate professor at the College of New Jersey. Instead, the child should first have been participating in some form of physical activity, most days of the week, for six weeks. If he has not, “I don’t think he should be going out for football or for cross-country” or other team sports, he says. “It’s an absolute setup for injury.” That’s when one of the “get moving” type of programs may be

You may ask yourself why any kind of organized program is necessary for this kind of presport conditioning. But “when we were kids, we were mowing the yard, taking out the trash, and were outside playing with our friends all afternoon,” says Brian Robinson, head athletic trainer at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Ill., and chair of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Secondary Schools Committee. “You don’t see that happening anymore,” he says. And that means many kids don’t have even a rudimentary fitness base.Everyone knows that kids are in the midst of, as pediatric exercise scientist Avery Faigenbaum calls it, an “unfitness epidemic.” According to a July report on the nation’s obesity problem, fewer between the ages of 6 and 17 take part in regular vigorous activity, defined as 20 minutes at a stretch of exercise intense enough to break a sweat and prompt heavy breathing. But on the other, smaller end of the spectrum, never have youth sports been taken so seriously by those who participate (and their parents): In addition to high school teams, private club teams, all-star traveling teams, sports camps, and the like are de rigueur for many teen and kid athletes.

So how to get from point A (the sofa) to point B (the school soccer team), or at least to somewhere in between? Enter youth fitness and training programs, which run the gamut from inexpensive programs at the YMCA or local Boys and Girls Club to sessions with private instructors (often as an offshoot of a general training business)that cost as much as—or more than—a personal trainer at the gym. Here’s a tip to keep in mind when you’re considering a program. Don’t assume your out-of-shape kid can go directly to the playing field. Ideally, a kid shouldn’t go right from the sofa to team tryouts, says Faigenbaum, an associate professor at the College of New Jersey. Instead, the child should first have been participating in some form of physical activity, most days of the week, for six weeks. If he has not, “I don’t think he should be going out for football or for cross-country” or other team sports, he says. “It’s an absolute setup for injury.” That’s when one of the “get moving” type of programs may be

You may ask yourself why any kind of organized program is necessary for this kind of presport conditioning. But “when we were kids, we were mowing the yard, taking out the trash, and were outside playing with our friends all afternoon,” says Brian Robinson, head athletic trainer at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Ill., and chair of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Secondary Schools Committee. “You don’t see that happening anymore,” he says. And that means many kids don’t have even a rudimentary fitness base. Author Unknown

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