Should Young People Exercise?

By: Mike Singh

Most young people under the age of 20 tend to have higher metabolic rates and be more flexible and energetic than older individuals. However, they too need to practice age appropriate exercise in order to avoid becoming obese, stay fit and trim and build up their stamina and strength.

Today, many young people don't get enough exercise mainly because of the electronic alternatives that occupy much of their time. The growing or formative years are very important because they lay the foundations for what later become healthy or poor habits so it is essential to stress the importance of a good diet and exercise among children while they are growing up itself.

It is understandable that sometimes children can get easily bored with a set exercise routine designed for adults. However, it is not necessary for them to be involved in organized group sports only. Most youngsters equally enjoy a jog with an adult, or a game of tennis, swimming, golf, martial arts, bicycling, gymnastics among other interesting sports.

Adults should not give hypocritical or inconsistent advice to children as they are quite sensitive to it. Therefore, grown ups should be prepared to practice what they preach and exercise along with their children. By doing so they can not only ensure that their children are exercising in a safe and proper manner but it also helps them to spend quality time with their children and participate in activities that will benefit them both.

It is very important for both adults and children to warm up before trying out a vigorous work out as if its too painful initially the individual is less likely to continue. A few minutes of static and dynamic stretching really helps to avoid injury. Therefore, one should start with a simple routine and gradually build up ones strength over time.

Exercise routines should be tailored keeping in mind the child's age group.

For children between the ages of 4 to 7 it is important for them to focus on building basic developing skills such as coordination and balance. It is during these formative years that a child's eye hand coordination and motor skills are still fluid. Skipping, Hopscotch and other simple activities help guide the development of these skills and these are activities that children naturally have a fondness for.

For children around the ages of 8 or so, vigorous exercise is advised as it helps keep their metabolism active and prevents food from turning into fat. Here again adults need to guide children towards inculcating good exercise habits and avoid injury. However, weight training for pre teens is generally unnecessary and risky.

On the other hand gymnastics is ideal for children in this age group. It helps strengthen the basic motor skills learned earlier while developing balance and keeps the endocrine system healthy and active.

For teens the possibilities in exercise are endless as they possess the basic bone and muscle structure that enables them to participate in high performance activities. But here too care should be taken to ensure that they get the proper guidance that will help prevent injuries.

Most teens should be given an outlet to express their endless energy. Therefore, they should be encouraged towards achieving positive goals such as those of fitness, endurance and high scores.

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