Exercise. It’s good for us...good for us all. In fact, I’m not sure there are many people who would argue that exercise isn’t healthy. Adults and kids alike, all need exercise.
Most health officials recommend that adults get 30 minutes of exercise daily. For children and adolescents, that number is actually increased: both the Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children and teens need to participate in moderate to vigorous exercise at least 60 minutes each day.
And yet, approximately 12.7 million children and teens in the US between 2-19 are obese. Only one quarter of the nation’s youth receives the recommended amount of daily exercise.
Too often, America’s youth spends more time sitting around in front of a screen. Between TVs, computers, DVDs, video games, phones--you name it--the average 8-18 year old spends about 7-8 hours on screen media daily.
Obviously, too much screen time is a leading cause of all sorts of issues including childhood obesity; however, what does adding 60 minutes of physical activity do for kids?
Kids who exercise for 60 minutes a day, including strength, aerobic, and flexibility training, have increased:
Whether you think your child spends too much time in front of the screen, or perhaps just needs an activity to get involved in after school, it’s time to look at the health benefits you could help your child achieve.
Studies have shown a strong correlation between fitness scores and academic achievement among children and teens. Physical activity is connected to academic/brain growth and development all throughout childhood. Those simple 60 minutes per day can help your child
Obviously, exercising your kiddo is of great importance. But why CrossFit Kids and not just any other team-directed sport, dance, or gymnastics class?
Children and teens should be participating in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. This exercise should include aerobic activity, muscle and bone strengthening, and flexibility training. Haven’t you seen a child on a playground run from the swings to the slide (aerobic), climb the ladders and monkey bars (strength) and bend down to grab something interesting out of the dirt (flexibility)?
Kids need three types of training and CrossFit Kids not only provides each, but does so with advanced trainers skilled in childhood exercise development and needs.
CrossFit Teaches the basic principles of mechanics (form and techniques), consistency (healthy routines) and last--intensity. Kids aren’t thrown into the weight room expected to max out on deadlifts and handstand push-ups; kids learn the basic movement skills, how to perform them safely and correctly, and how to advance them when necessary and able.
“CrossFit Kids emphasizes good movement through childhood and adolescence. Consistently good mechanics translates to physical literacy, enhanced sports performance, as well as prevents fewer injuries for kids. [...]
We provide an alternative to sedentary pursuits, which means less childhood obesity and all around better health for our children. CrossFit kids is designed to be minimalist; it is inexpensive and often requires little or no equipment, allowing a wide array of socioeconomic groups an opportunity to be physically fit and active throughout their lives.” --kids.crossfit.com
“We introduce ourselves and answer questions like, ‘What did you learn in school today?’ Then together, we do a warm-up which typically covers basic movements--burpees, running, push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and sit-ups.” --Coach Tori at CrossFit Harrisonburg.
Like most CrossFit Kids coaches, Tori teaches a warm-up, moves on to skill work, advances to the class workout, and ends the 60-minute activity time with a game.
“In skill work we do things like monkey hangs on a pull-up bar, we work on pull-ups--which the kids love--we review squat form and talk about how much we squat in every-day activities. They always learn more about CrossFit during this time.”
“For the workout, I usually let the kids design their workout while I help with a rep scheme. They love taking ownership on their work, and they really love playing a game at the end of class. Some days we play an active game, and some days we play a brain game while being active. I always try to stimulate their brains before they go home to do their homework.”
A good CrossFit Kids class should be safe, fun, and energetic. In addition to learning basic exercise skills, children will be better equipped to make healthier food choices, gain confidence that translates to all areas of life, become more focused in school, even transition into team sports, dance, or gymnastics easily with a reduced risk of sports-related injuries. Most children will even learn to become better leaders--both in school, on the team, and later in life.
Don’t just throw your child into an exercise class. Whether you’re exercising already or you’re only just thinking about beginning, it’s never too late to start living a better, and more motivating life for your family! There are several simple things you can start doing now to emphasize the importance of movement and living an active, fun, energetic life.
Just a simple one-hour chunk of your child’s day can make the difference in his or her confidence, social life, academic work, and both physical and mental health. Don’t you owe it to your child to provide an atmosphere that will allow him or her to thrive?
For daily CrossFit Kids workouts and Registered Program announcements, visit the CrossFit Kids Instagram: @crossfitkids.
This is a guest post from Stephanie Walker, a CrossFit and Health Coach who believes everyone deserves to be fitter, healthier, and happier. Stephanie is the author of The Total Health and Fitness Makeover, and is passionate about helping others transform their lives through fitness and good foods--just as she did her own! You can follow Steph on Instagram, Facebook or Strongfigure.com.