If you are a CrossFitter, you have probably gone through a phase where you have thought “Everyone should CrossFit, this is the only way one can achieve true fitness”. If you are in that phase now, I am sure you are thinking “Preach!”
However, are kids included in this “everyone” that you are thinking of? The idea of kids doing CrossFit is a little frightening; throwing heavy weights, hanging on bars, and jumping on high boxes are not usually associated with the things we want our kids to be doing. So why is there a program called CrossFit Kids?
CrossFit Kids has the same foundation as CrossFit, we exist to teach children how to move their bodies safely, functionally and have fun. Kids will not lift weights or be asked to do anything that could be dangerous. Our goal is to get kids moving, while having fun. Its amazing to see how excited kids get when they get to move around, everything is a game to them and they are truly enjoying the things we show them how to do.
Children are like sponges. They are constantly absorbing new information and their brains are forming new pathways, and pruning old ones. When kids do something repetitively, these pathways become more permanent. If we can teach our kiddos how to enjoy physical activity while they are young, we are helping them develop healthy patterns that will transfer into adulthood.
In addition, if you can develop coordination and motor skills, by teaching kids how to move safely and functionally, they will have a good athletic foundation in years to come. In other words, physical activity will come more naturally. We have all seen the adult who has a hard time learning new movements, where every new movement in CrossFit feels foreign and looks awkward; maybe you are that person. Although I firmly believe that we can learn how to move our bodies and develop healthy patterns at any age, it is EASIER to learn new things when we have a foundation.
Exercise offers many benefits in the brain, and movement significantly develops cognition. Dr. Gary explains how the brain is extremely interconnected and movement activates numerous parts of the brain. When children move their bodies through space, not only are you developing the movement centers in your brain, but you are also developing cognitive centers in the brain. When your children exercises, new neural pathways form. Children who engage in physical activity show enhanced cognitive abilities, they focus improves and their sleep patterns improve.
There are many reasons we encourage adults to exercise: decrease risk of obesity, decreased risk of an array of diseases, low blood pressure, healthier bones, etc. Likewise, children reap the same benefits from exercise. There is an even greater benefit to children engaging in physical activity, because their bodies are still developing, so physical activity will prevent a multitude of future problems.
By investing in kids physical health, we are investing in their future health. There are very few things we can guarantee for our kids, however, we can equip them with tools to give them a better chance of success in the future. CrossFit Renew is offering a Community WOD this Saturday (May 14) for kids and parents. It is a fun way to get moving with their kids, and show them how physical health is important and can be fun! Come out this Saturday…its FREE so you have absolutely nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.