Kids today are growing increasingly lazier and fatter due to sedentary lifestyles. Fast food is becoming the main staple of food in homes too busy with work and extra-curricular activities to cook a real meal. Watching too much television and playing video games has become the preferred activity for kids and parents are letting them get away with it instead of getting outside and exercising with play activities.
Over 30% of children up through the teen years are overweight these days and 15% of them are labeled obese. These figures are quite startling and will only climb upward unless both kids and their parents do something positive and constructive about it. With a large focus on getting healthier this 21st century, more and more parents are finally waking up to the fact that they need to help their kids create healthier life habits in order to live longer. Organized exercise through fitness centers and sports are enjoying increasing popularity.
Kids are not prepared physically to start any rigorous or demanding exercise schedule. Their bones and skeletal frame are vulnerable because they are still growing and are susceptible to injury. Cardiovascular and aerobic exercises popular with adults in fitness clubs and gyms are not appropriate yet for children, so they need something that will tax them physically without causing injury. The answer to this dilemma is Pilates for children.
The Pilates exercise program has a number of benefits for children. Just like with adults, children will develop better alignment of the spine and their postures will improve. They will develop stronger muscles and have greater flexibility along the core muscles located in the trunk of the body like the hips, spine, upper thighs and abdominal areas. Their overall performance in other athletic pursuits will improve as well. Kids will develop sleeker bodies and develop an awareness of how their bodies move and the proper way to exercise, keeping in mind body alignment and movement efficiency.
Children’s bodies change rapidly which affects their physical performances and for this reason, Pilates is a great exercise option. It is easily and readily manipulated to adapt to a child’s growing and changing body. Best of all, because part of Pilates is concentration and focus on how the body moves in proper ways, these kids will grow up with the right physical tools to alleviate pain and reduce the chance for injuring themselves in other physical pursuits.
Building the core muscles along the body’s trunk is also important for the development of healthy children’s bodies. Strong core muscles will help them maintain posture and comfort during long periods of sitting in a classroom desk. This means they will better be able to concentrate on the lessons and homework without spending too much time and energy trying to be comfortable and maintain focus.
Pilates is about intense focus and being aware of your body. When kids learn these principles, they are better equipped at maintaining physical shape in other pursuits as well as learning how to relax. Being in control of their body means they will have more self-confidence and self-esteem too. If you are ready to have your children become involved in Pilates, be sure to choose a class where the instructor has had experience teaching this unique exercise program to younger people. The best age to start Pilates with adult supervision is around 8 years of age.