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5 Reasons Kids Should Try CrossFit

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by: Melissa Allison

In today’s day and age, social media, video games, I-pads, etc. are more common than ever for children. This is more time they are on their devices and less time they are being active. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the percentage of children ages 6-11 in the U.S. who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Also, the percentage of adolescents ages 12-19 years of age who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period. It’s clear that making children aware of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle is more critical than ever. So how can CrossFit help children today?

1. Better knowledge of healthy habits

CrossFit provides kids with an outlet to be physically active but it also instills healthy habits and knowledge at an early age. Once their coaches start to inform them of the risks of eating too many refined carbohydrates, eating too much sugar, as well as the issues that can arise from a sedentary lifestyle, these kids can take this knowledge and incorporate it into healthier habits.

2. Improved athleticism

At an early age, the human brain is starting to make neurological connections and adaptations. CrossFit has many tasks and disciplines which if started at an early age will serve them well later in life. People who never played sports as a child are typically far less coordinated than those who did. Kids who do play a sport can use CrossFit in the off-season or regular season even to supplement their training and experience athletic benefits when they return to their sport. CrossFit kids programming targets the entire skeleton and helps to increase bone mass in addition to strength and power. From the CrossFit Kids Instagram page “Additionally, jumping and other weight-bearing activities have been found to provide a significant increase in bone density at the spine and hip in prepubescent children. Some recent evidence suggests that exercise provides the best long-term benefits in bone mineral density (BMD) when it is initiated before puberty. Unlike adults, children have been found to maintain their BMD gains from weight-bearing exercise, even if the exercise, even if the exercise program is discontinued

3. Increased school performance

Exercise is beneficial for not only the body but also for the mind. A 2013 study from the British Medical Journal found that the more active children are at age 11, the better they performed in exams in English, math, and science the following years. This research suggests the potential reasons for the link between physical activity and academic performance. “Studies have revealed relationships between physical activity (PA) and relevant cognitive outcomes such as measures of executive function, as well as studies suggesting that PA might increase time ‘on task’ in class and reduce classroom ‘problem behavior.”   A previous study from 2008 backs this research up. It showed how middle-schoolers that scored well in fitness tests had standardized tests scores that were nearly 30% higher than their sedentary peers.

4. Improved social skills

CrossFit is not only a great place to make new friends but it’s also a place to teach children social skills. Kids will start to learn how important it is to listen to their coach explain the movements, to stay focused on their task until the clock or workload is completed, and they will start cheering on and motivate their peers. CrossFit can teach kids important life lessons for the future.

5. Improved confidence

What exactly does a child get from the benefits and advantages of CrossFit? They become more confident individuals who believe in their potential and are willing to take on more risks. They become more dedicated, respectful, healthier, and intelligent. They learn how to interact with their peers and build healthy and valuable social skills. They gain knowledge into health and fitness that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Coaching CrossFit kids has been such a positive and rewarding experience for me and is something I look forward to every Sunday. Every class is fun, different, and also challenging. I love seeing the younger kids smile, laugh, and interact with their peers in a fun and positive way. The older children are learning and completing tasks I never did at their age and their passion to keep coming back and get better is very rewarding.

 

Contact us at info@oldlinecrossfit.com in order to get more information! We have classes every Sunday from 11-12:15 pm and the first class is always free!