CrossFit Kids

CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF FUN FOR SMARTER, HAPPIER KIDS

More often than not, children are exposed to exercise in an institutionalised manner at school level. Physical Education is a school subject, it is crammed in between Maths and Science and it leaves no room for choice. Exposing kids to a form of exercise that focusses on being fun, that happens outside of the school curriculum and that encourages them to explore what their bodies can do in space is a must; for both mental and physical health.

WHY SHOULD KIDS DO CROSSFIT ?

While the health benefits are immense, it is essential to instil in children the belief that exercise is fun, exciting and enjoyable. While they are having fun (which is what the kids need), their physical skills are developed and various health benefits are reaped (which is what the parents need). At school level, kids specialise in a particular sport from a very young age. While this is good in terms of developing particular skills, it can also lead to imbalances (as many sports favour one side of the body) and injuries (if the kids are unaware of how to orientate and balance their bodies correctly).

CULTIVATING SKILLS FOR CROSSFIT

CrossFit Kids focuses on teaching children basic skills, in a fun environment, without the pressure of competition weighing them down. The development of cardiovascular and respiratory endurance is encouraged, while coordination and accuracy is taught through repetition, creating neural pathways and stimulating enhanced motor skills. Agility and balance is a prime area of focus, creating an understanding of where their midline is, to enable them to stack themselves in such a way that good posture is promoted. This is essential to spinal health, especially in the developmental years when kids spend most of their time at rest, sitting at a school-desk.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS

The health benefits include the stimulation of the vestibular system - which is responsible for the development of languages, visual alertness, reflexes and coordination - through continuously changing the position of the head. Allowing kids to get upside down teaches them how to re-orientate themselves and how they see the world. Bone density is built through impact exercises, without added load (weight). This is achieved by getting kids to jump, bound, skip, hop – encouraging the growth of muscle on bone and facilitating balanced mobility and strength.

HEALTHY BALANCED AND SMART

Fit kids are smart kids. An active child is more open to learning. Kids have a lot of energy – if we expend the energy in a healthy way, their brains are active, their bodies get the activity they crave and they are primed to learn. We encourage moms to bring their kids’ homework along; after 30 minutes of playful exercise, your child’s ability to sit down, concentrate and absorb information will be at its peak!

Written by Diane Teles. Co-Founder of CrossFit360Vida, Coach, Physiotherapist.