Some parents ask me to push their kids further so they sweat and “get a good workout”. Unfortunately, this exercise-to-exhaustion myth hasn’t gone the way of weight-lifting belts and “no pain, no gain’. Sweating is a fitness myth for kids.
One of the biggest misconceptions some parents have is that children and teens are adults in smaller bodies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children’s heart rates, neurology, and, yes, ability to perspire are very different than that of an adults. This is especially true of children that are sedentary and/or are deconditioned.
What We Should Be Focusing On Instead
In a time when a Physical Education class might consist of 20 or more students to one teacher, children first need to learn the benefits of exercise and athleticism; intensity will take care of itself later. Knowing the how and why of exercise is especially important for young, curious minds.
Understanding and enjoying actions that lead to a healthy lifestyle are much more important than “getting a good sweat”. The sweat, in truth, is in no way an indication of fitness or well-being. Parents should instead work with their child’s trainer to set achievable goals that with time, patience and encouragement will lead to the child’s inevitable success.
By John Snow Certified Personal Trainer