Kids & Weightlifting: How Young is Too Young
Kids and Weightlifting: How Young Is Too Young?
The following are some facts about kids and weightlifting:
1) Children weigh less than adults but they have a higher body fat percentage.
A child’s body composition is not very well developed yet, so it takes longer for them to grow into their adult size. When children begin to exercise regularly, they usually reach their full potential within two years.
2) There is no scientific evidence that shows that regular weight training stunts growth.
However, there are studies which show that children with physical or mental disabilities may benefit from such exercises. For example, if a child has muscular dystrophy, then he/she will probably gain strength and muscle mass faster when exercising regularly. If a child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), then he/she might learn better through exercise too.
3) Studies have shown that children with autism spectrum disorder do not grow at all.
They tend to stay the same size throughout their lives. Some experts believe that this is because these children lack certain hormones needed for growth. Other researchers think that they don’t experience enough stress during childhood, which results in slower growth rate.
Still other researches say that they just get bored easily and stop exercising altogether due to boredom.
4) Children with Down syndrome experience a growth delay due to the extra twenty-first chromosome that they have.
This is why children with this syndrome tend to be shorter than their peers. However, these children can be treated through hormonal therapy. Since growth is determined by hormones, some of these children can grow to average height as long as the treatment is continued on a regular basis.
5) There are some children who experience a growth spurt and then stop suddenly.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Risk factors for overweight/obesity in preschool children: an ecological approach (…, H Cho, on behalf of the STRONG Kids Research … – Childhood …, 2013 – liebertpub.com)
- All kids are our kids: What communities must do to raise caring and responsible children and adolescents (PL Benson – 2006 – psycnet.apa.org)
- All kids are our kids (PL Benson – Adolescence, 1997 – search.proquest.com)