What age, you think, is best for children to start exercising? Like lifting weights and consuming protein shakes? Before you aver that even David Beckham’s 12-year-old son Cruz goes to the gym, we say it’s not about exceptional kids.
You’d probably find an ally in Daniel Herman, the founder of a US-based fitness nutrition company Bio-Synergy. He set tongues wagging in the fitness world recently when he said that it’s perfectly fine for 12-year-olds like Cruz to lift weights. Many were shocked even more when he claimed that he gives his 8-year-old daughter supplements.
In an interview to The Sun, Herman said, “Depending on the age of the child, weight lifting may not be appropriate due to risk of injury, that said if properly supervised and structured it can certainly be beneficial. You can see in the video that Cruz is being chaperoned by his older brother and a trainer who are both actually helping him lift that heavy weight.”
He added, “My daughter is 8 and swims competitively. She has to train a minimum of two hours for six days per week in order to maintain her squad position. As a result, there are lots of early morning and late nights, so I am happy for her to have a home-made smoothie with additional protein and a diluted version of an isotonic drink to keep her hydrated.”
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Experts Say, “Protein supplements might be prescribed by doctors for children with nutritional deficiencies, poor appetites, for those who are pure vegetarians or for those who are involved in sports.
But children should be prescribed protein only by doctors or qualified nutritionists and definitely not by gym trainers. Also such consumption is to be closely monitored by the paediatrician depending on the child’s age and body weight for best results,”
“Weight training for 12 year olds is effective as long as it’s monitored by a qualified professional. The general guidelines are not to lift a weight that you can’t do at least 10 reps with by themselves.
Also they should control the weight by learning the correct technique and not push their bodies to complete exhaustion in the weights room. Children should learn to strengthen all the major muscle groups in the body and not neglect their leg strength or become only ‘muscle addicts’ while neglecting other aspects of fitness such as flexibility and cardiovascular endurance,” he said.