Exercise for Children: aerobic and resistance training
Exercise is a stimulus for good health, strong bones, the development of muscle strength, fitness and co-ordination.
- This is a form of exercise that is sustainable for longer periods sometimes referred to as 'cardio'. Examples are walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
Moderate Aerobic activity: raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. But you can still talk and even sing!
Vigorous Aerobic activity: raises the heart rate and you feel out of breath- you will not be able to sing.
The UK guidelines for children age 5-18:
- All children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.
- Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.
- All children* and young people should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
*Individual physical and mental capabilities should be considered when interpreting the guidelines.
Benefits of Aerobic exercise:
- Healthy heart and lungs
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improved mood and well-being
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Feel happier
- Reduces inflamamtion
- Improves insulin sensitivity
This is when we move our body against a resistance such our own body weight, an elastic band, or while lifting a weight.
Benefits of Resistance exercises:
- Healthy heart and lungs.
- Reduces body fat.
- Reduces diabetes, as muscle becomes more sensitive to insulin
- Improved bone health.
- Reduced back pain (Auvinen et al., 2008).
- Better health later in life.
- Improved social and self- confidence.
- Improved co-ordination and core strength later in life.
- Improved strength and jumping ability.
- Improved co-ordination.
- Improved motor skills.
- Reduced injury rates while playing other sports.
- More likely to exercise later in life.
This is an example of a resistance training programme for an Adolescent (Age 12-18 for girls, 14-18 for boys) with no prior training experience. It is called Integrative Neuromuscular Training (INT).
Resistance exercise for Children age 7-12
The NHS choices website recommend
- Resistance exercises with exercise bands, weight machines or hand-held weights
- Rock climbing
More information on the 'window of nueromuscular' development is discussed in my blog post " does weight training in children stunt growth?".
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