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The Plentiful Benefits of Training for Children


Many parents who first approach Don Beebe’s House of Speed are intrigued by the many famous athletes the Beebe team has trained – everyone from Tony Romo to Michael Turner and Larry English. While it is true that many children opting for top level training are interested in a career in sports, they are not the only ones who can benefit from top training at the hand of seasoned, qualified professionals. Often, the benefits are not those that are first sought out, yet they can stand kids in good stead for the rest of their lives. Some of these ‘hidden’ benefits include:


  • Improved academic performance: Studies show a correlation between regular training and improved cognitive ability. An article published in Pediatric Exercise Science notes that skills and relationships learned during training carry over to the learning of other relationships and concepts. Many studies have shown that movement, particularly in young children, stimulates cognitive development. 


  • Greater self-esteem: Research also shows that exercise gives kids a boost of self-esteem, as they see how the fruits of their efforts include faster speeds, greater strength and more goals achieved. Self-confidence is also boosted by meeting and interacting with other children and adults during training sessions.


  • Stress reduction: Kids these days are often subject to pressures that their parents were not owing to social media and the Internet boom. It is not uncommon to find pre-adolescents already facing anxiety and/or depression, and there is no better way to obtain a natural high, than through sport. Studies have shown that in everyone from children with ADHD to women experiencing depression owing to menopause, regular exercise can significantly lower negative symptoms. In particular, exercise can improve mood, even when are facing hormonal issues or undergoing a challenging period in life. Training lowers levels of stress hormone, cortisol, leading to a better mood and less symptoms of anxiety. The latter is a much more common disorder than many people realize; in fact, it is the most common mental condition affecting Americans today. It is vital that young children find natural ways to address stress, such as sport, time spent in nature and holistic activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, and even (for older kids) mindful meditation.


  • Hitting Vitamin D targets: Training outdoors, under the warm sun, can help children strengthen their bones, by increasing their Vitamin D quotient. Vitamin D can also keep asthma at bay, by calming the over-active immune state linked to this disease.


  • A healthy heart: A recent study published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that moderate, long-term physical activity improves cardiovascular health. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and Canada, taking steps to ensure long-term heart health should begin in childhood. Physical activity is vital for healthy growth and development; in children, it promotes improved fitness, strength and bone density. Children should aim to take part in vigorous activities at least three times a week. In addition to training, parents need to take steps to encourage activity in children, through walking, dance, playground and many other forms of exercise that are as entertaining as they are beneficial from a health perspective.


  • Battling obesity: Obesity is a major problem in developed nations. Training promotes weight loss in a way that kids can relate to, since imposing strict diets on children can have the opposite effect to that desired. For children, the first step in weight loss should always be increasing physical activity, in addition to the consumption of a sound (not severe) nutritional plan. Exercise does not only help us lose weight, if not maintain a healthy weight once targets are achieved.


  • A longer life: Kids who begin training early, develop a lifelong relationship with sports, which greatly increases their quality of life. Despite the established link between physical activity and lower levels or obesity and heart disease, many children still do not exercise to adequate levels. Researchers at Harvard University note that one in every three people in the world gets little to no exercise. The findings are a definite wake-up call to adults and children alike: sports need to be given greater importance, and we need to make time to include it on a regular basis in our lives.