For a variety of reasons (including excessive screen time), there are a growing number children who have a relatively sedentary lifestyle and do not get many opportunities to be physically active. Being physically active as a child is important for a number of reasons including maintaining a healthy weight and long-term cardiac health.
If you are trying to get your physically inactive child exercising, Pilates classes can be a great option.
Back and core support
Children who spend much of their day in a seated position often have weak back and core muscles. This can result in back pain if they start a very active sport such as running. Pilates is a great way to build this strength and can be a great option as an adjunct to a more vigorous physical exercise program. Additionally, Pilates helps to stretch out the back which can become tense during long periods of sitting. This leads to an improved posture which can make the child move more confidently and be more comfortable throughout the day and during free play time. Core stability can also make it easier to sit comfortably when required, such as for a period of study.
The Pilates exercises can all be done at a range of intensities, known as levels, which allows the children to start an exercise program no matter what their initial physical fitness levels. They can then increment up the intensity as they progress through the program. They perform all of the exercises independently so that there is not the same level of competition as in some team sports. This can make it easier for your child to build some confidence in their physical ability, which can be important if they start from a less than confident approach to exercising.
Stretching and flexibility
Many physical exercise programs emphasise strength and speed, however stretching and flexibility is another important part of physical fitness. By stretching muscles in the back, neck and shoulders, many children experience relaxation and enjoyment. By creating an enjoyable experience the child is more likely to keep going and try new physical activities.
Choosing a Pilates class for your child which is run by a qualified and enthusiastic instructor can be a great way to get less active children exercising and enjoying doing physical activity. If you are looking for a class for your child, you should contact your local Pilates studio or physiotherapy for some ideas.