Teen and Pre-teen Physiology ~ Youth Fitness Training Considerations ~
Sport Specific Training, Weightloss and toning

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Teen and Pre-teen Physiology

15% of North American children are obese! Obesity is defined as weighing 20% or more past an individual's recommended weight for their height.

So they are a little overweight. No big deal, right? Wrong! Check out these frightening facts on the future of a child who is overweight , and consider how an effective Teen Power Hour can help your child be more healthy and set the foundation for an adult lifestyle free from medical problems commonly associated with excess weight:

As a race, we develop almost all of our fat cells when we are teenagers . This is important because a child who is now overweight is going to have to battle obesity for the rest of their life due to increased fat cell count during adolescence. For a child who is NOT overweight, keeping them from putting on extra weight during their teenage years can literally make the difference between an adulthood of easily keeping weight off, or of battling the bulge their entire life.

Type II Diabetes , previously an adult ONLY condition, is now becoming more and more prevalent in children. Today's lack of nutritional counselling combined with easy access to high sugar foods and beverages at every turn, and this frightening condition is surely on an upward swing. Some will pay the ultimate price for over indulgence - Type II Diabetes can kill or permanently handicap if left untreated .

Studies show that overweight children have fewer friends than normal-weight children . Tragically enough, those same studies show that a lot of these children don't even realize their lack of popularity. Although the lack of understanding may seem like a blessing, it is actually disguising a social fact in that child's life that later can negatively affect their economic status, educational attainment, career success, mental health and general well-being. *

Overweight children are teased by their peers, and this type of mental abuse can scar a child forever. A recent study of nearly 5,000 teenagers in the Minneapolis area found 26 percent of teens who were teased at school and at home reported they had considered suicide, and 9 percent had attempted to kill themselves .

Thirty-six percent of the teased girls reported being depressed, and 19 percent of the boys. *

* SOURCE: Archives of Paediatrics' and Adolescent Medicine, August 2003.

Youth Fitness Training Considerations, Sport Specific Training
Is every child the same, and the same canned workout and training approach will work for all of them? Hardly. Just as in developing a training program for an adult, each child is different, and needs a very individualized approach. When considering youth fitness training options, the Human Factor needs to come into play, and that can only happen if the trainer is as much a fitness professional as a friend, confidant, or even a mentor. Would you want your child training with someone who was going to give them exactly 100% instead of 110%? I know I wouldn't.....

Sport Specific Training - Does your child's basketball or football coach know how old a child should be before they begin weight training? Do they know that children react radically differently to cold and heat than adults do? Do they know that sport specific training and fitness training are 2 COMPLETELY different concepts as far as the brain is concerned, and only one can be effectively trained for at a time? Does your child's coach know that the mental aspect of a child's participation in sports is not only more important, but more valuable to the child than their actual performance? It is rare that a coach has both the time and the skill to effectively deal with these and many similar details like a certified personal trainer can.

Coach vs. Personal Trainer. Coaches and gym teachers are great people, and Fitness Boot Camps Canada's Teen Power Hour has nothing but respect for them and the roles that they play in our communities. However, they have full classes of students to deal with, and they simply don't have the time or the resources to help out all of their students one on one. A personal trainer should not replace a coach any more than a coach should replace a personal trainer. The 2 individuals should work together for the benefit of the children in question, and train those children from both a one-on-one, as well as a group standpoint. If your child doesn't have a coach because they are not involved in sports, then that is all the more reason to get a positive and professional fitness representative in their life as soon as possible .
Youth Fitness Training is not about forcing an iron-clad fitness program down the throat of a child who otherwise can't seem to get it together. To the contrary, a professional Youth Fitness Trainer will spend time working with your child as the individual that he or she is, and develop a training program based on that individuality. Anything less than that would be a waste of time for the child, the trainer, and the parents. If you really want to see your child succeed - whether it be in a weight loss/lifestyle change program or in a coaching capacity for sports activities, hire a trainer who will not only get the job done, but get it done for the right reasons.
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