Updated: Jan 29, 2020
I’m proud to say I now hold the Elite Trainer Certification. I already had 2 certifications (Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition), but recently earned the Youth Fitness Trainer certification through the International Sports Sciences Association for my 3rd to make the Elite status. Out of the other helpful certifications available, I felt that it was necessary to go the route that I did.
What am I going to do with my newest certification? There are plenty of things we can do to help children. I’m developing group classes specifically for them. Being that children are still growing, they need to work on their motor skills, hand-eye coordination, movement training (not training muscles) and eating correctly. My class is designed to help kids participate in some type of physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily. Just think. Kids easily spend an average of 6.5 hours per day in front of a screen whether it be a flat screen tv, phone or tablet.
Children eat between 200 and 300 more calories per day without burning it off. When they don’t use or burn off the additional calories, what does the body do with it all? The body stores that energy as fat for later use. When it doesn’t get used, the body just keeps adding to it. I believe spending so much time in front of a screen instead of getting up and moving and eating much more than necessary is the reason why the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) has reported that 18% of school-aged children are obese. They have also reported that nine states have exceeded 20%. Part of this issue is the nutritional programs that most schools (private schools included) follow aren’t providing healthy foods for kids, but instead are providing children with food that meets or is less than the budget set by the school’s officials. Physical education programs in most schools are underfunded and unfortunately are ran by teachers with little to no training or experience in sports, training kids or even exercise physiology. Sadly, many kids are physically inactive due to the previous mentioned issues. I was fortunate enough to have great physical education teachers. One of which was my wrestling coach in middle school who pushed me to pursue my interest in the sport since I was good at it.
Late spring/early summer of 2018 is when I’m introducing outdoor and indoor classes called Kidz Camp. Each class will be an hour or so long. These classes will help kids work on hinging at the hips (the hip hinge movement) instead of bending at the spine. A good portion of experienced high school and even college athletes have no idea they bend at the spine when exercising which causes damage to the spine as well as the spinal discs. Doing these movements incorrectly will also carry over into their daily lives causing things like bad posture, slouching when seated, bending over to get something instead of bending at the knees, etc. Kids will learn through exercises and movements to improve motor skills and hand-eye coordination while having a little fun. A few activities that I will incorporate are crab walks for warm-ups, Bunny Hops with an agility ladder (ages 5 to 8), tug-of-war with a battle rope (ages 9 to 12), lateral shuffle with cones (ages 13 to 17) and of course static stretching afterwards to help everyone increase their range of motion to prevent injuries. There are far too many other fun activities and exercises to list. Some of the activities and exercises will be partner or team oriented as well.
Toward the end of some sessions, I will have the kids come together to speak to them about certain things like why fitness is important, respecting their parents & teachers, why bullying is not okay, why it’s important to get good grades and other topics. It’s important to talk to children about being physically strong and healthy, but it’s also important to build them up mentally and emotionally too. All of my exercises and activities are age appropriate while being somewhat difficult. When each kid leaves my training session, I want them to be stronger in every way than they were before the beginning of my session. If you’re in the area and have an interest in signing a child up, contact me and we’ll get him or her into the class!