Even children have their own physical activity , and their own safe routine without being tired and harmful .
The information has gone around the world: a young Texan six years, Keelan Glass, ran a half-marathon or 21 kilometers in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 30 seconds, alongside her mother in the idea to support the Christian family planning his city. She blew in passing the record for the youngest marathoner in the world, previously held by another nine year old girl.
This performance, which may force the admiration is far won the approval of the community pediatricians who rightly questioned the long-term consequences of intense physical activity on the child’s skeleton. However, Keelan is not the only one to take such risks.
When popular races, some parents do not hesitate to enroll their children in older age categories, so they can run longer distances. proof one can have by looking at the start list of the timekeeping firm that handles most of the races in Switzerland, and on which we can find runners with identical names registered under different years of birth.
However, we live in a situation where we observe, from north to south, deterioration of physical fitness in children with the appearance of an obesity epidemic which only increase. WHO forecasts are therefore alarming because they are considering for the first time an inversion of the curve of longevity of life.
A child accustomed to the movement during childhood, keep such a lifestyle and regularly practiced physical activity in adulthood. The consequences are generally positive health, social development, teamwork, learning success and failure and on improving self-esteem. Physical activity also helps to channel energies in the right direction, while the diagnosis of hyperactivity syndrome is increasingly mentioned in our young adolescents.
Implications for development
In addition, there is currently no standard for defining what physical activity is a risk of weakening the skeleton is likely to appear, and could disrupt the process of growth and maturation of the musculoskeletal device -skeletal. Children are not miniature adults! Considering a certain age group, there are large differences in the development of individuals and it is impossible to determine with certainty for each of them, when the practice of physical activity becomes excessive and dangerous. Recall here that the stress fractures also occur in children and adolescents.
We can cite some examples of the harmfulness of intense physical activity (more than 15 hours / week) on skeletal development, especially in artistic gymnastics. Physical activity performed at high intensity is responsible for stunting and adulthood of a smaller size than expected. These assertions are further reinforced by some animal studies, where there was an early closure of the growth plate in growing phase dogs, subjected to intensive training.
What activity at what intensity?
According to WHO recommendations, it is proposed physical activity 60 minutes a day as a necessary element for harmonious development in the age of five to seventeen group. This activity should be of moderate intensity or sustained, that is to say that teens should feel a sense of breathlessness during games or exercises organized in all kinds of shape. In Switzerland, only 34% of school age children meet these recommendations and still only five days a week, while in the USA the measured activity was less than 20 minutes a day.
However, the proposals of various sports associations are less conclusive. Swiss Athletics Federation makes various recommendations by age: a child under nine should not run away continuously beyond 3 km; between nine and eleven, he is allowed to run 5 km, and between twelve and fourteen, he can enroll in a distance of 10 kilometers. The distance of the half marathon is possible only from fifteen. Registration for the marathon is not accepted before the age of eighteen.
By cons, no guidelines exist for team sports (ice hockey or football), where one can find of gifted young teenagers who train and play with several teams of different age groups. They are at risk of overload injuries and also traumatic as opposed to other larger and heavier teenagers. The risk of injury is so important.
So how to gauge what is enough and what is excessive in terms of physical activity? The recommendations of the authorities is practically non-existent, it is necessary to remember that the first sign suggestive of too intense physical activity is the occurrence of fatigue, accompanied by a change of mood and decreased academic performance . These symptoms are a warning signal that should challenge the entourage.
Furthermore, children rarely think of himself first in the competition. It is therefore very important to diversify his physical activity by doing multiple sports; This will allow the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular devices to gain strength through a gradual increase and healthy the effort required. Thereafter, once the coordination of qualities and acquired balance, the teenager will move towards a sports specialization of their choice, always with the main motivation “fun”.