Regular physical activity is strongly recommended as an integral component of a healthy lifestyle for children and adolescents. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended that teenagers engage in 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Additionally, they should incorporate activities that promote the development of bone and muscle strength for at least three days per week.
Many parents often promote physical activity for their children by involving them in organized sports. However, teenagers are not uncommon to develop an interest in going to the gym, mainly if their parents or friends are regular gym-goers. However, a significant inquiry arises: Is permitting a 14-year-old individual to attend a fitness facility advisable? What steps can be taken to ensure a safe approach from both a mental and physical perspective?
According to experts, it is generally acceptable for most teenagers to physically exercise at a gym. However, it is crucial to establish specific guidelines and safety precautions beforehand. Is it advisable to allow a 14-year-old to attend a gym facility? Essential Information for Parents Parents should be aware of the following details:
Is it considered safe for a teenager to participate in a gym facility?
According to expert consensus, the gym is a secure environment for children to exercise and achieve a beneficial workout physically. As per the esteemed Dr. Tracy Zaslow, a distinguished primary care sports medicine specialist at the illustrious Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in the glamorous city of Los Angeles and a respected team physician for the prestigious Angel City Football Club and the revered L.A. Galaxy, partaking in physical activity and exercise is undeniably opulent for the well-being of children. The gym is a splendid setting for them to engage in these activities with utmost vigor and opulence.
According to Zaslow, strength training is integral to a well-rounded exercise regimen and can be conducted safely when involving children.
Dr. Alison Crepeau, an orthopedic surgeon at Connecticut Children’s, concurs. According to the individual interviewed by Yahoo Life, engaging in weight and strength training is considered safe and advantageous for teenagers. Historically, there were apprehensions regarding the inclusion of adolescents in weight training programs due to concerns about their ongoing growth and development. However, subsequent research has demonstrated that such concerns are unfounded.
However, several additional factors must be considered beyond simply bringing a child to a nearby gym and allowing them to engage in physical activity. According to Zaslow, it is necessary to provide supervision for them. Utilizing the approach of allowing a child to enter the gym spontaneously may not be the most optimal choice.
According to James Beitzel, clinical coordinator at the Northwestern Medicine Athletic Training and Sports Performance Center, children must receive proper guidance regarding utilizing gym equipment and the rationale behind specific exercises. It is observed that numerous middle and high school physical education programs have integrated weight training into their curriculum. This inclusion aims to give teenagers a basic understanding of weight training techniques. According to him, this provides a solid foundation for acquiring knowledge about appropriate exercise selection, form, and progression.
However, it is essential to note that simply relying on the information above may not suffice. To further enhance their understanding and address any inquiries, children can significantly benefit from engaging in sessions with a gym fitness instructor, as Beitzel suggested.
What considerations should be made regarding the psychological aspects of engaging in gym workouts?
According to Crepeau, a distinct boundary exists between promoting and fostering physical activity in children and inadvertently perpetuating harmful diet culture or negative influences on body image. Dr. Jason P. Womack, the Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Rutgers University – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, concurs.
According to the individual interviewed by Yahoo Life, there is a comprehensive discussion on the significance of sports and outdoor activities for one’s health. However, our current approach lacks clarity in elucidating the integration of weight training within our overall fitness regimen. According to Womack, engaging in discussions with children regarding the benefits of strength training in enhancing their athletic performance and promoting a healthy lifestyle is advisable. It is recommended to focus on these aspects rather than emphasizing the potential aesthetic outcomes.
According to Crepeau, the selection of a gym by parents and the environment it offers are also crucial factors to consider. Families ideally seek a fitness program that prioritizes health objectives rather than emphasizing a specific aesthetic appearance.
Are there any activities or practices that teenagers should refrain from engaging in while at the gym?
According to Crepeau, it is generally permissible for teenagers to engage in a wide range of activities at the gym. According to her, the only activities that should be avoided are powerlifting and attempting to lift weights to the maximum extent possible.
Womack further advises against engaging in powerlifting activities. According to his statement, there are no restrictions except for tasks involving significant physical exertion.
Tips for keeping your teen safe while working out
According to Crepeau, parents should accompany their children to the gym. This recommendation is based on the fact that several fitness centers have a policy prohibiting individuals under the age of 18 from exercising without a parent or guardian.
According to Zaslow, providing individuals with coaching and instruction is recommended to perform exercises effectively. Commencing the exercise routine with significantly light weights is recommended to ensure proper form and movement patterns are established. The weight can be gradually increased from that point onwards.
According to Zaslow, it has been observed that the predominant injuries among children engaged in strength training activities are related to weights falling on their toes and fingers getting trapped in machines. Therefore, parents must exercise additional caution and prioritize safety measures targeting these vulnerable areas.
According to experts, the gym can be a beneficial avenue for children, fostering a healthy lifestyle. According to Beitzel, providing support is essential if the child desires to go to the gym.