How Much Should You Weigh At 11 Years Old Boy More Children Hiring Personal Trainers – Combating Childhood Obesity

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More Children Hiring Personal Trainers – Combating Childhood Obesity

More and more parents are hiring personal trainers to work with their children to help fight childhood obesity. Thousands of kids have turned to professionals to get in shape. Last year, more than 1 million young Americans used personal trainers to lose weight, improve fitness or improve their sports skills. Some statistics show that about 30% of children from 6 to 11 years old are overweight while about 15% are obese. With physical education classes on the decline, it’s no surprise that many parents are turning to personal trainers for help. If you’re looking for ways to get your kids more active, a personal trainer could be the perfect solution.

Personal training for children

One of the reasons parents turn to personal trainers is to help their children excel in sports. Another major reason, of course, is to help manage weight problems. Whatever the reason, the decision to hire a personal trainer should be up to you and your child. One thing we know is that exercising kids and teens can be hard…forcing your child into a type of activity or exercise they don’t like can backfire and not all kids will enjoy working out with a personal trainer.

If your child expresses interest in working with a trainer, you can ask what a trainer can do for your child. A good trainer can help her find activities she can enjoy while teaching her the proper way to exercise for her age and goals. A trainer can also teach them how to lift weights, which has a number of benefits for children and teenagers such as:

  • More strength
  • Protection from injuries
  • Better health
  • Higher self-esteem and confidence

A trainer can help you determine what your child is capable of and teach your child how to exercise safely, effectively, and most importantly, how to have fun so that these habits are maintained in adulthood.

Other reasons you may want your child to work with a trainer are:

  • Sport specific training. Athletes often need specialized training and children who want to pursue sports may want or need the help of a professional to strengthen their bodies, increase their power and resistance and protect them from injuries.
  • Exercise guide. You may feel at a loss if your child wants to exercise or lift weights and you are not sure if you have the expertise to show them what to do. If this is the case, the right personal trainer can help you establish a good program that fits your child’s age, goals and fitness level.
  • Disgusting of organized sports or group fitness. Some children may not like typical PE or sports, but still want to get fit. Working one-on-one with a trainer can be a safe environment for them to get fit and strong without feeling self-conscious.

According to the Max Fitness Academy in Sherman Oaks, CA, children under the age of 18 represented 17 percent of the 6.3 million people who used trainers in 2006. Max Hany Mikhaiel, CEO of the Academy and founder of Drive Kids to Be Fit. in part he attributes the jump to parental concern about childhood obesity: The American Obesity Association estimates that about 30 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight.

With reductions in physical education programs across the country, Max says many children are not getting regular exercise at school unless they are playing an organized sport. Drive Kids to be Fit, was developed as a fun and effective way to teach children good nutrition and exercise habits. The nonprofit organization is a community partner in the National Institute of Health’s We Can! Program, a national initiative to reduce the number of overweight and obese children. “The goal is to reach all overweight children in the country,” says Max, “getting them involved in community activities … getting out of the house and active.” The 15-week program is currently available at Max Fitness Academy and is free to qualified low-income children ages 8 – 13 and will be rolling out to several local area schools this fall. Max Fitness Academy trainers and nutritionists will visit schools to teach 1½ hour classes on good eating habits, weight training and cardiovascular exercise.

So today’s parents see a personal trainer as a physical tutor who can help a struggling child get in shape. Certified in teen and pre-teen fitness, fitness trainers agree that self-esteem typically increases as a child’s body image improves. “When you are strong, no matter what your age, you are better than everything else,” says Max. It defends parents who employ trainers for their children, equating the expense to that of other outside lessons such as dance or music.

These days, it seems everyone is talking about overweight and obesity and what to do about it. Why is it such a big deal? Because, as a Nation, we are getting heavier. The number of adults who are obese has increased dramatically, even in the last decade or so. And it’s not just a slightly larger waistline that might come with middle age. It is the weight gain that harms our health. According to national data analyzed, it is estimated that 65 percent of Americans are now overweight or obese, and more than 61 million adults are obese. Adults aren’t the only ones getting heavier. The children became even heavier. The percentage of children and adolescents who are overweight has more than doubled since the 1970s. About 16 percent of children and adolescents are overweight.

The overweight side

People have many reasons to care if they weigh too much, both short-term and long-term. In the short term, when a child is overweight, it can be difficult to keep up with friends, play outside at recess, or wear the latest styles. Other kids at school can sometimes tease you. Being overweight can be difficult even for adults. Clothes feel too tight, it’s not always easy to be active, and you can get tired easily.

Those extra pounds also have long-term consequences for adults and children. Being overweight is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some cancers and other chronic conditions. Health experts are particularly concerned about the long-term consequences of excess weight in children. For example, type 2 diabetes was once rare in children. Now, it is estimated to account for 8 to 45 percent of newly diagnosed childhood diabetes cases. Most cases of type 2 diabetes in children are in those who are overweight. And overweight children are likely to become overweight or obese adults.

It’s one thing to think about the national obesity epidemic, but as a parent, what can you do? The two main ways to encourage and maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight are to make smart food choices and be physically active.

That’s what Max Fitness Academy’s Drive Kids to Be Fit is all about – it gives a lot of ideas that can help you and your family take action for a healthy weight.

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