Miami, FL (PressExposure) December 21, 2009 -- Being overweight has a lot of negative effects especially on children. For one, they often become the subject of jokes in school and in their neighborhood. They also get the stares from people wherever they go. Additionally, these kids are prone to sickness compared to those with fitter bodies.
In the U.S., many parents have been dealing with the problem of obesity among their children. According to the 2005-2006 statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years and 15 percent of those aged 6 to 11 years are overweight. Since 1980, the percentage of obese children in the U.S. has tripled and this fact has caused a major concern that many overweight children will remain to be so until they reach adulthood and even for the rest of their life.
But there's hope for these kids. Parents need to know that they can help their children attain their ideal weight through strength training. While this may sound as a rigid physical fitness program meant for adults only, it is now safe for children as well.
Nine-year-old twins Gabriel and Ezekiel are a great example of children who succeeded in losing weight and achieving a firmer body through the help of strength training. These two were called a lot of names due to their being out of shape. Tired of being in that condition, the two boys eventually enrolled in the Miami-based Kids and Fitness Studio and underwent training thrice weekly under the supervision of Teri Sibai. The twins were made to jump rope, climb stairs and used the weight training machines and weighted balls.
Through their dedication and patience, Gabriel and Ezekiel each lost 30 pounds with great success after four months of training under Teri Sibai. Although they claimed of tiredness after each workout, the positive effect was they felt more energized than before. The two boys also noticed their bodies become firmer and that they were enjoying their workouts.
So if there's one form of physical fitness exercise that overweight children should engage in to get in good shape, it has to be strength training. This type of training program is now considered safe for children as it actually helps in strengthening the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
For obese kids, the exercises normally focus on strengthening the muscles in the legs, hips, chest, upper back and shoulders. The core muscles or the muslces in the lower back and abdomen are also the target to help improve balance and posture and avoid injuries.
Pediatricians agree that if the exercise is done properly and under supervision of a trainer, it can provide great benefits to obese children. Other than building muscle tissue and bone density, it also enhances an individual's speed, power and total fitness. What's important is to consult first with a doctor to ensure that the child is in a healthy condition to go through the training program.
Strength training is sometimes referred to as resistance training because of the resistance involved such as in using dumbbells, exercise bands, weighted balls and weight training machines. But it should not be confused with weight lifting or power lifting which is actually an Olympic sport.
Exercise is essential in keeping the body in good shape and the more it should be encouraged among overweight children to help them gain back their confidence and energy.