When adults think of starting a gym routine, thoughts of getting fit, losing weight, or gaining muscle often come to mind. However, this does not always have to be the case where children are concerned. Gym activities designed for kids are not always about achieving a certain physical aesthetic but are more focused on promoting a general sense of health and wellness, as well as developing motor skills.
The Appropriate Age to Start Gym Activities
There are varying opinions on when a child should start engaging in gym activities, depending largely on the child’s overall development and enthusiasm for physical activities. Whilst there are no strict rules about when children can start visiting the gym, it’s generally recommended that they should be at least 12 years old before engaging in more formal strength training and weight lifting sessions.
Children younger than 12 can still engage in physical activities and participate in child-friendly gym classes that focus on fun, games, and basic skill development. These classes can involve infrastructure such as jungle gym equipment, obstacle courses, and age-appropriate group classes.
Benefits of Gym Activities for Kids
Gym activities for children can have several benefits. Firstly, they can help combat childhood obesity, which is a significant problem in many developed countries, including the United States. Regular physical activity can help control weight, reduce the risk of diabetes, and lower blood pressure.
Secondly, gym activities can help to improve motor skills. Activities such as climbing, running, jumping, and throwing can help children endure physical challenges and build their coordination.
Lastly, gym activities are a fun way to develop social skills. Group classes or sports activities offer a positive environment where kids can learn teamwork, communication, and how to respect others.
Child-Friendly Gyms in the USA
There are many child-friendly gyms and fitness centers across the United States that cater to children of all age groups. For instance, The Little Gym has branches nationwide that offer “Gymnastics for Kids,” which range from 3 to 12 years old. My Gym, located in over 30 states, offers programs for kids as young as 6 weeks old. These include “Mommy and Me” classes, and kids-only sessions for older children.
Children can benefit greatly from gym activities, and it’s not always about weight lifting or cardio exercises. Child-friendly gym classes offer fun, skills development, and a great social environment. Although there is no set minimum age limit, it’s generally recommended for children to be at least 12 before starting more formal strength training.
At what age can children start going to the gym?
Although children can start attending child-friendly gym classes from a young age, it’s generally recommended for them to be at least 12 before participating in formal strength training and weight lifting.
Are there gyms in the USA that cater to kids?
Yes. Gyms such as The Little Gym and My Gym offer fitness classes and programs specifically designed for children.