At what point should my child begin "working out"?
As fitness professionals, we get that question a lot. According to the CDC, the answer is that youth and adolescents between the ages of 6-17 should be exercising moderately to vigorously at least 60 minutes per day.
Three Types of Exercise
The CDC breaks this down further into three different types of exercising.
Most of the 60 minutes or more per day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity on at least 3 days a week.
Some of our favorite activities for youth would include jump roping, jogging, and running tic-tac-toe.
As part of their 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days a week.
The types of muscular strengthening activities depend on the age of youth or adolescent. For youth that are between the ages of 6-12, we recommend exercises such as modified push ups, planks, bodyweight exercises, and exercises that include tube bands.
For adolescents, we recommend bodyweight exercises, and exercises using weights as it has been found to improve an adolescent's strength by 30-40% according to Dr. Teri Metcalf McCambridge of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Strength training for adolescents needs to be administered by a trained fitness professional.
As part of their 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days a week.
Some of our favorite exercises to improve bone density include repeat jumps, depth jumps, agility drills, and plyometrics movements.
Overall, it is imperative to provide your junior with the best opportunity for them to compete with the rest of their peers. By encouraging them to perform age appropriate exercises, you’ll be providing them with the chance to reach their maximum potential.