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Parenting and Fitness: Does Your Child Really Need a Personal Trainer?

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The Associated Press reported in 2007 that nearly 1 million kids in the United States had personal trainers. Some of these kids were as young as six years old, and as a parent, it makes sense to want your kids to be healthy.

Obesity is on the rise, and personal trainers are doing more than just helping children stay fit.

If your child is struggling to maintain a healthy weight, wants to get into fitness or plays sports, a personal trainer may be a good fit.

Personal Training and the Benefits for Kids

Parents often associate personal training with lifting heavy weights, and while this may be true, there's always the concern of: weight lifting stunting growth. But studies, one conducted by Tarleton State University, found that training protocols, under the right supervision, are relatively safe and do not impact growth in children.

Personal trainers also help kids develop:

  • Balance
  • Speed
  • Agility

Performance in sports is also enhanced when a personal trainer focuses on training the right muscles.

It's essential to connect with a personal trainer that will focus on your goals for your child. Every trainer should consider the parent's and child's goals to come up with a routine to meet each goal.

"Whether you’re looking to simply get healthier or get into a specific fitness activity, we will match you with a one-on-one trainer who can customize each session to meet your fitness goals," states FitnessTrainer.

Benefits of Personal Training

Maintaining a healthy weight is a key benefit to personal training, which will lead to more confidence. The right trainer will be able to help your child:

  • Improve her health
  • Protect against injuries
  • Enhance strength
  • Boost confidence and self-esteem

Trainers will teach your child how to exercise safely, increasing strength and staving off injuries. Children that benefit the most from personal trainers often fall into one of the following categories:

  • Sports training, where the child wants to pursue a specific sport. The fitness trainer will focus on the muscles and needs of each sport. This allows the child to increase her power, speed and agility while helping to prevent injuries during sports.
  • General exercise training for weight loss, muscle growth and enhanced fitness. Children that don't know how to perform exercises are at higher risk of injury and can greatly benefit from the help of a personal trainer.
  • One-on-one training for children who don't like sports or physical education and perform better one-on-one. These children prefer trainers because they offer a safer environment without the feeling of being self-conscious.

Parents of younger children can also choose to attend personal training sessions. Families that are trying to get fit together can also find a trainer that offers group sessions for families. It's important to find a trainer that has a degree in physical fitness, exercise or that has a personal training certification that's recognized nationally.

Parents will also need to do their part in their child's training. Buying healthy foods, encouraging your child to continue with training or joining her on her journey can be beneficial. Do children need a personal trainer? It depends on their needs and motivation to get healthy on their own.

But more parents are turning to professionals to help their children on the path of health.

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