Kids’ Training: Putting the FUN into Functional

Situation

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The need for children to go to an occupational therapist has increased in recent years. The main problem most occupational therapists are finding with children in today’s modern age is poor core stability. Proper kids’ training is essential.

That being said we now don’t need our children to engage in thousands of ab crunches a day so they can become ripped. Most people associate the core with only the tummy which is inaccurate as the core also includes the muscles of the back too.

Riding bikes, climbing trees and general rough housing allows children’s bodies to adapt to life’s pressures. Those fun activities place an overload on the developing body, allowing the child to learn how to control their own bodies under physical stress. Today children are house bound and they are losing out on this development.

Schools that still offer physical education class are not showing children the basic skills needed to develop physically. These days there is a huge emphasis on sporting performance. Sport and athleticism are two completely different things. Just look at the international cricketers, many are overweight yet they represent their country at the highest level.

These days, if a child shows potential in a given sport they are then pushed along that path only. This hampers their overall development. Their total focus is directed towards mastering the sport skills and not their own body. Training for long sessions will start to take the FUN out of the activity, once FUN has been removed, the chances of physical activity forming part of the child’s lifestyle is slim at best.

Solution

Parents, you need to play with your kids. Modern life is so fast paced, with work pressure and all the extra murals kids are doing all families want to do is crash. The TV takes pride of place which is not necessarily a good thing.

Simple games like “catch” build hand-eye coordination. Playing soccer gets everyone running around. Let’s be blunt, running 5km is boring but people of all ages will happily chase a ball around a garden for hours. Get out into the wild; pack a backpack with water and snacks and head to a hiking trail or botanical garden. This starts to build balance and coordination due to the uneven terrain.

CrossFit promotes functional fitness which is excellent for both kids and adults. Some boxes in South Africa offer CrossFit Kids programs. The focus of CrossFit Kids is to put the FUN into functional movement. Boxes offering CrossFit Kids have coaches who have attended the specific cert and are there to lead your children through the program and make it FUN.

Conclusion

I know it’s fast and busy out there and time is often limited but make the effort for your little one. As little as 10mins a day of a physical activity will have a cumulative effect on your child’s physical development. Every little bit helps.

Do you place an emphasis on your kids staying active?  What activities do they partake in?

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