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Should Little Kids Be 'Working Out'?

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Workouts for kids? With childhood obesity rates skyrocketing, this might be a trend that's here to stay.

Crossfit Kids
When the park just doesn't cut it anymore, try this on for size: CrossFit, one of the fastest growing movements in fitness, is now available for kids. 

Deemed "the toughest workout ever" by Muscle and Fitness magazine, the same workout responsible for the buff, beautiful bods in the blockbuster hit "300" has been downsized into a power-packed, pint-sized workout for kids aged 3 to 12. The idea behind CrossFit Kids is simple: Keep kids moving and make exercise fun. And judging by the amount of tumbling, jumping, lunging and obstacle-course training that occurs in a typical class, your wee one is bound to come back for more. 

Moms, what do you think? Are workouts for kids excessive ... or a good alternative to everyday play?

next: Let's Count the Ways We're Not Like Barbie
75 comments so far | Post a comment now
Danielle June 13, 2010, 10:48 AM

Fitness is great for kids. As long as it doesn’t involve weight training. You don’t want hard ripped muscles not that young for sure. Just healthy is just right.

Peggy Brister June 13, 2010, 11:05 AM

When I was in junior high and high school we had an hour of physical fitness every single day and it kept us from being fat, lazy little pudgers. Kids don’t have that in school anymore. And mine being homeschooled they rarely get an hour a day of exercise. I take mine to the YMCA to play racquetball and go swimming a few times a week. My kids aren’t over-weight but you really should get them use to doing regular fitness routines when they are young so they will continue it when they get older. The bad thing is, at our local Y where we have amembership, they won’t even let the kids into the work out room to do any exercises with the machines, like walking on the treadmill or doing the elyptical machine. They have to be 14 to be in the work out room. It’s just too hot in the summer to be outside doing exercise in 90+ degree weather. Some little work out video for kids would be a good idea I think. I would buy it if it weren’t too ridiculously hard.

Rae Pica June 14, 2010, 6:42 AM

To answer the question posed in your title: No, no, and NO!

As a children’s physical activity specialist, I can state unequivocally that this type of workout is developmentally inappropriate for children under the age of 8 and can do far more harm than good. Among other things, it can create a bad taste for physical activity — for ALL physical activity — that could stay with them for a lifetime.

michelle June 14, 2010, 9:23 AM

What a horrible idea! Why do people do everything possible to prevent children from just playing outside? Turn off the TV and go out to the park or ride bikes as a family or have kids over to play at an indoor space or the yard or WHATEVER. They will get plenty of exercise that way. Also, unstructured play has both physical and imaginative components. In other words, kids need to be able to explore even as they play. This is much more developmentally appropriate than some adult-driven workout routine that turns physical activity into a joyless chore.

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karen June 15, 2010, 2:49 PM

If they ENJOY it, why not? If you’re forcing it on the kids, then you’re just making them hate physical activity. Is a class worth a try, sure, but if they don’t like it what’s wrong with family walks and bike rides? @Peggy, I wonder if you can still find copies of Mousercise (the VHS [maybe DVD, but I doubt it], not the CD). I used to love it as a kid (back in my mom’s Jane Fonda days!)!

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mommy dearest June 16, 2010, 7:09 AM

Oh no,
Kids can’t do Crossfit!
Dot drills are essentially hopscotch, skipping rope, playing on the monkey bars, pushups…give me a break, I did all of this as a child of the 70’s, early eighties.
I have no problem with the gymnastics, cardio and endurance aspect to Crossfit, I am positive they will leave out Olympic lifting if they are gearing the workout to kids.
If your kids are getting the right amount of exercise this is a non-issue but if not, why are we judging parents who want to get their kids fitness levels up?

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