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Morgan Hill
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May 17, 2022

Health and Fitness: Never too early to start

My last article addressed the idea of exercising into your
senior years. On the flip side, it
’s never too early to start a fitness program either. Getting
children in the habit of a healthy lifestyle begins at birth. From
nutrition to exercise, the younger a child learns positive
behaviors, the better. Let’s take a look at exercise programs
geared to youngsters. This popular type of
program is among the many places I have used my fitness
expertise over the years.
My last article addressed the idea of exercising into your senior years. On the flip side, it’s never too early to start a fitness program either. Getting children in the habit of a healthy lifestyle begins at birth.

From nutrition to exercise, the younger a child learns positive behaviors, the better.

Let’s take a look at exercise programs geared to youngsters.

This popular type of program is among the many places I have used my fitness expertise over the years.

Many of these places are play programs for children ranging from infant to toddler. They address the multiple stages of the motor learning process using different apparatus for different skills.

They also incorporate tactile and auditory activities which is very important for kinesthetic (movement) awareness.

Past the toddler stage, there are many, many sports programs for young children that also foster physical development.

From youth gymnastics and/or dance to martial arts to soccer to T-ball/baseball to any other sport you can imagine, there are programs for all ages.

Beginning at non-competitive levels, these organizations teach children motor learning skills that are more advanced than those in programs geared towards the infant/toddler levels.

They also serve to introduce children to the enjoyment of being physically active.

It is important to give kids a sense of self-worth and encourage them to do the best they can do without the pressure of “being the best.”

Parents who enjoy and partake in physical activities are more likely to encourage their children to follow suit.

Using myself as an example, my parents did lots of exercise. As such, I was joining gyms with my mother from the earliest age they would let me.

Student memberships are available in many gyms.

Come into Mavericks Sports Club in Morgan Hill with a student ID and enroll for just $75 and $32 per month.

One of the most important benefits of a youth exercise program is a positive attitude towards a lifelong activity.

Improvements in muscular fitness, bone density, body composition, motor skills, and injury prevention are all additional benefits of young people exercising.

However, the most effective way to get children involved is to focus on the social aspects of the activities, since they don’t usually have the ability to comprehend the abstract concepts like strong bones and disease prevention until they are a little older.

More and more research is proving that youths can safely do more fitness activities than was previously thought.

However, we must still remember that they are not just young adults. Their programs must be tailored to their developmental stages.

Nevertheless, it’s never too early to start being aware of personal fitness.

Karen Frost is the Personal Training Director for Mavericks Sports Club in Morgan Hill. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Physical Education/Fitness Management from New York University, and is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal Trainer and a Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant.

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