Fitness for Teens
As adults, we tend to exercise because we know it's good for our long term health, we want to look good in a swimsuit, it helps relieve stress, or (gasp) some actually enjoy it! As young kids, most of us spent time playing outside, running around at recess, riding our bikes or possibly playing various sports.
Today, things are different. Some kids may still have these experiences, but recess and PE have been reduced in favor of more academic time (which is a topic for a future blog post), video games, apps and other technology becomes a priority, and many kids don't find that they fit in when they try traditional sports. Maybe they tried different activities when they were younger, but what happens when they start highschool?
I don't think anyone can argue that kids, in general, need to be more active. Obesity rates are at an all time high, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in young children and behavioral disorders are on the rise. This scares the hell out of me and we need to do something about it. Not all kids are cut out for a team sport, nor should we be advocates for sport specialization for children. Sport and fitness are two completing separate, albeit complimentary things. If we are concerned about the long term health of our kids, then we need to find a way to help them develop a love (or at least like) of fitness so they will hopefully continue to incorporate it in their lives as they enter college or the workforce and beyond.
In addition to improved physical health, studies have shown that exercise has a direct effect on cognition (the ability to think, reason, focus and process information).
We know we can't change the world over night, but at Bainbridge Island CrossFit we want to provide an option for pre-teens and teens to improve their fitness in a safe, fun and supportive environment. This doesn't mean it will be easy. Kids who enroll in our teen fitness program will be expected to work hard, be respectful of others, have integrity and support each other. We reward work ethic, honesty and effort and will teach kids life skills that transcend the walls of the gym into their everyday lives.