At the age of five, most kids find entertaining toys and new friends to be far more interesting than big muscles. In fact, many adults might even consider strength training to be an unnecessary activity at this young age. However, including gentle strengthening exercises in a child’s weekly routine can benefit his health and physical endurance tremendously. When performed safely, strength training for five year old kids at home can be easy and beneficial.
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Muscle and Bone Moves
Along with at least 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adolescents regularly participate in strength training activities. In fact, the CDC recommends that kids include both muscle strengthening and bone strengthening activities in their daily routine at least three days per week. To achieve successful results, each muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening session should be at least 20 to 30 minutes long.
When done safely, strength training can have a variety of beneficial effects on your child’s health. Along with strengthening the muscles and the bones, these exercises help protect the body’s joints from injury. Regular strength training can also increase his metabolism, regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight. Many kids even find that strength training greatly improves their performance in other sports and activities, from baseball to ballet.
Strength Training Safety
Although strength training exercises can be beneficial for kids of any age, Kids Health recommends that children of about seven or eight years old or younger stick to body weight exercises and add gear such as light weights or resistance bands as they mature and get stronger. Throughout each exercise, kids should focus on using proper form and technique to avoid injury. Additionally, adult supervision is necessary while a young child, such as a five-year old kid, is participating in muscle or bone strengthening activities.
When developing a strength training routine for five-year old kids at home, it is important to choose activities that are appropriate for the child’s age. In fact, the CDC acknowledges that most young children do not need the formal muscle-strengthening exercises used by adults, such as lifting weights. Most young children receive sufficient strength training benefits through simple activities like gymnastics, climbing trees, jumping rope and climbing on a jungle gym. Additional age-appropriate strength training activities include push-ups, sit-ups and crunches.
Before initiating a strength training routine for your child, consult his physician. After a physical examination, your doctor can determine whether your child is healthy and strong enough for strength training exercises. If your child experiences pain or excessive discomfort while training, he should stop immediately. Muscle strains are among the most common injuries experienced during strength training activities. If you or your child suspects an injury, seek medical attention.