Kids and Flexibility

You watch your child’s grades in school, make sure that they eat right and worry if they are developing socially.  But are you also watching their fitness requirements/goals?  Along with being active in sports and/or just play, both competitive or just recreational, flexibility issues can affect your child.

According to the American Council on Exercise, around the age of 6, children begin sitting regularly at a desk during school.  During these hours of sitting it forces their hamstrings into a tight shortened position.  Spending long hours hunched in front of the TV or computer compounds these problems, leading further to tightness.  In addition, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital website states that muscles tend to be tight in pre-teens and early teenagers when children experience rapid growth periods.  During these changes when bones grow quickly, muscles have not adjusted to them and poor flexibility might become a bigger problem.

Stretching daily is key to improving your child’s flexibility.  Helping them loosen tight muscles during growth periods and physical activity.  According to numerous studies, warming up with light cardio followed by dynamic stretching (continuous repetitive movement) will help improve their  mobility.  After exercise, it is recommended that they static stretch concentrating on their hamstrings, calves and shoulders. Taking small steps daily to improve flexibility will improve performance in sports, posture and reduce injuries.

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