While you may think personal trainers work only with adults, children and teens can also benefit from their services.
As childhood obesity rates continue to rise and physical education classes continue to decrease, many parents are looking for new ways to help their children lose weight. One avenue an increasing number of parents are choosing is hiring a personal trainer for their child. You read right – a personal trainer for little people.
What use is a personal trainer for a child? Is a trainer the answer to your problems? How do you go about finding a qualified trainer?
Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer
The main reason parents hire a personal trainer for a child is to assist with weight loss, as childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic in some parts of the world. Research shows that as many as one out of three children age 6 to 18 years are overweight and 15 percent are considered obese. Personal trainers can teach a child healthy eating and exercise habits. By learning these skills early, trainers and parents alike hope it leads to lifelong healthy behaviors.
Weight management isn’t the only reason parents hire a personal trainer. Perhaps your child is interested in playing a specific sport but needs to hone his or her skills or build strength and endurance. Personal trainers are available to assist young athletes with these endeavors.
Personal trainers also come in handy when it comes to simple exercise and weight training. Many kids have the desire to learn how to exercise or how to lift weights, but they need to learn the proper techniques to do it safely. If parents don’t know how to teach their kids (teaching kids to lift weights is different than teaching an adult), a personal trainer may be the answer. That said, the trainer should be knowledgeable enough to teach a child the skills needed and develop a program based on the young lifter’s age, fitness level, and goals.
A fourth reason parents hire a personal trainer is to encourage healthy activities for their kids. Many kids and teens feel uncomfortable exercising with a group (such as PE class) or don’t like organized team sports, but want to be in shape. Working with a personal trainer may be what these kids need. With a trainer a child can learn new skills, get in shape, and build self-confidence.
Will It Work?
Personal trainers aren’t for everyone. Getting children and teens to exercise can be a tough job – even for a professionally trained trainer. If an overweight child resists working with a personal trainer, the situation could become even worse. Therefore, the decision to hire a trainer should be made by both the parent and child.
For a successful experience, the parents, child, and trainer must set reasonable, attainable goals. Also, if the child enjoys working out with a personal trainer, the child will be more likely to continue the healthy habits learned. A trainer should work to make it fun for the child, and parents should be patient and supportive throughout the sessions. For healthy behaviors to become habits, kids need work with a trainer for one to two sessions a week for several months. After this time, the healthy habits should be set in stone!
The Right Little Trainer
Working with children is different than with adults. Children have different physical, physiological, and emotional needs that a trainer should be educated about. When choosing a personal trainer for your child, look for someone who has experience with kids, has a personality that your child will respond to well, and is willing to do things with your child that your child enjoys.
Additionally, look for the following qualifications:
- an exercise-related degree or certification in personal training
- willingness to create a variety of enjoyable training sessions that include cardio, strength training, and core exercises
- references from other parents
- an exercise philosophy you agree with
- willingness to let the parents sit in on the first few sessions
- certification in first aid and CPR
- requires a waiver for kids younger than 18, a health screening, or doctor’s release
- has liability insurance and an emergency plan in place
- sets goals and works toward meeting them
Healthy Habits Start Early
If you have a hard time getting your kid up and moving, a trainer may be just what your child’s health needs. Just do your homework first, and your child should be in position to enjoy a long and enjoyable relationship with his or her new exercise buddy!
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself &/or your child right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your &/or your child’s life for the best.
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