Archive for the ‘Children and Adolescents’ category

Fitness Programs for Kids – Running, Vibration Training

November 3rd, 2010

Last Sunday was Auckland Marathon Race day in Auckland, New Zealand.  My husband ran the 1/2 marathon event and placed very well, 7th in his age group, and overall coming in just about 200th of 7000 entrants. Congratulations to him!

A new event this year was a Kids Marathon. It was set up as an 8, 10, or 12 week training program in schools for 7-13 year olds culminating in the 2.195km Kids Marathon race at the Auckland Marathon event. Each child finisher received a medal and a downloadable certificate. Every finisher was a winner.

running 5km raceThe kids event was set up to help kids develop life-long fitness skills and and it will help prevent obesity as they grow.  We’ve all seen the figures – childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developed countries and figures show that 70% of obese adolescents become obese adults.  Anything that can be done to halt those frightening statistics gets my vote.

What about the kids who are already quite overweight or already obese?  To say they are unlikey to enjoy a running program is understating the reality!

Some will, of course, do okay. They’ll plod along, literally, and if their diet has some controls they might even lose some fat and gain some fitness and, over a period of time, come to enjoy the running program.  Okay, I can almost hear some people laughing because most overweight and certainly all obese kids are not going to take to running – many will hate it!  We’ve all found ways to skip school on days there’s a class or event we really dislike so I’m imagining this happening on “running class” days for some kids.

Maybe kids running training classes will be optional but being presented as a life changing program I’m doubting that and pretty sure it will be inflicted on all kids regardless of shape, size, and the ability to even run from one lamppost to the next.

It’s good for them, it will help them, they need to do it – Really?  isn’t there another way?

I”m really against instilling into young minds that any particular form of exercise is the only way to achieve results . Running isn’t suitable for everyone and can even induce injuries in unfit, overweight people. Diet and metabolism play a part in how much muscle and fat a person has and must be a part of any real fitness program.

There definitely is an alternative form of exercise for overweight kids – it’s called  Vibration Training.

Cardio exercise like running isn’t the only way to build fitness and help with fat-loss.  Vibration Platforms are being used under the guidance of Dr Robbie Parker at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, N.S.W., Australia for children and adolsecents who are overweight or obese and have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

I believe we will see an increase in the use of Vibration Training for overweight children. It’s fun and very effective.  There’s no denying that it’s hard work but the kids like that and I’d put the parents on the machines to show them how hard it is – and anyway, they should be training alongside their kids. I don’t know of any schools with Vibration Machines; they’d need to be high quality, commercial machines that cost lots of money so for now overweight kids get forced to run, like it or not. I hope they wont be needing knee surgery from all that pounding with their heavy weight.

Overweight and obese adolescents and children are welcome to come into Vibra-Train studios. They do have to be able to hold a perfect pose, like a squat, on the machine and have to follow instructions exactly.  And we’ll look after your knees.  Who knows; you might become so strong you will want to join the running program next year.