While Genesis Gym is not a "kids gym" we do have kids as young at 10 years old training at our centers. Actually age doesn't matter that much. What's more important is that a child must be able to listen to instructions. We are not a childcare and don't have the manpower to make sure children aren't running around wildly!
But for children's day 2012, I would like to share 3 things that can help parents maximize their kids health and athletic potential. After all, people who are good at certain things, tend to enjoy those activities, and do more of them. So it's a good thing for children to be competent at physical activity so they can enjoy exercise and good food as a life-long positive habit.
1. Let them play
From my experience, some of the most difficult to teach (they are not bad people, just less coordinated physically!) clients come in the age group of about 40-50 years old. People who are younger tend to have had less time lapse since their last period with less sporting activity, so they are not in as de-conditioned a shape. People who are older are part of what I call the "catch-spider" generation where outdoor play, and physical activity is the norm for them. So they retain their coordination into their old age, although they may be lacking in strength, and muscle.
For parents, please let your kids play. Physical coordination is learned before age 12. Sometimes I get a bit upset with the schools that teach people how to be "more agile" at age 24. Speed ladders, goofy "functional training" devices and so on cannot improve coordination much. They can only make you better at performing the goofy training. If a person does not have good movement skills by age 12, it's almost impossible for him or her to be an athletic person.
Because Singapore parents like things to be structured... make sure your kids do multiple different activities. Climb rocks, play catch, throw things, do multiple sports, don't specialize till later - age 14 or later for most sports. My wife and I are working on having our first child and what I would do is to change the focus every few months e.g a few months of soccer, then basketball, then volleyball, then judo, then water polo, then gymnastics, track and field etc.
2. Keep them clean - on the inside
The world is a pretty polluted place and even in remote parts of the world like the Pacific Islands, or Alaska, contaminants like fire-retardants, and residue from burning of fuel can be found in the blood of new born babies. No we usually don't suddenly die from pollutants, but they reduce the efficiency of everything we do. And we will need more nutrients to clear those pollutants out.
Some things parents can do
- Play in the sun - but without sunblock - for 30 mins per day. This boosts vitamin D which is important in detox processes
- Eat nutritious food, all unprocessed, preferably home cooked. At least you know exactly whats inside preventing further toxic burden, and you can also make sure that there is sufficient protein and plant-nutrient intake. Both of which help detox.
- Kids supplements - If you are doing the two steps above, you will lower the amount of supplements needed. But I would still use a good omega-3 oil along with a kids multivitamin, and magnesium.
3. Keep brains healthy
While the things done in point 2 will help brain development a lot, there are a few more things that can help with maximum brain development.
- Social skills start young, get kids into social situations. Team sports are excellent for this.
- Mentorship from parents and positive adult figures - this is the best way to learn things
- Multiple skills - encourage some of everything. Sports, Art, music, maths, literature, poetry, nature walks, etc pretty much anything is ok. It is a good time to see your child's aptitudes and talents. And its ok if they don't excel in everything. This is just to get the "brain networks" more developed for future learning because when you have a wide network of learning, its easier to learn more things later in life which can attach to these networks. I believe that in today's fast changing world, the ability to keep learning is probably as valuable to success as the ability to read was a hundred years ago.
For the best fitness boot camp program, ExpressFIT program in the CBD, and personal training in Singapore visit www.genesisgym.com.sg or the Genesis Gym facebook page. Or visit Coach Jonathan's homepage and blog at www.coachjon.com