Getting children involved in sports and fitness is the perfect way to deter them from becoming overweight and facing the problems of obesity early on in life. Many gyms offer tailored classes for children, aimed at educating them in proper technique and improving their quality of life. However any good general chiropractor will attest to the need for proper footwear and carefully monitored techniques to reduce the risk of lower back injuries, which can have a detrimental effect on children who are still growing. These issues are offer exaggerated but poor posture whilst sitting down at school for long periods of time, leading to discomfort in the lower vertebrae.
Despite many children's classes utilising bodyweight exercises and cardiovascular training as opposed to heavy strength training, adequate footwear is still essential. Even though it may seem like a pair of trainers won't impact the lower back this couldn't be further from the truth. Whilst children are unlikely to need dedicated Olympic lifting shoes or high-end cross-training footwear, having a suitable amount of support and cushioning is imperative to minimising impact related strains, as the downward force of the upper body's weight increases with each stride, causing strain on the lumbar region. It's also important that the shoe allows for adequate support of the ankle and is able to stand up to the rigours of sprinting and quick changes in direction, as football and suicide runs are often exercises used for their great cardiovascular benefits.
For children, consider getting them good quality running trainers that have been fitted professionally. This will ensure that their gait and running stride have been taken into account, as well as the pronation of the foot. This is where the foot rolls in a particular direction when it lands, and if suitable trainers or shoes are not worn this causes the legs and ankles to work overtime to stabilise the lower body, which in turn effects the hip flexors and lower back, leading to pain and discomfort.
If you're sending your child to fitness classes you need to be aware of the type of exercises they may be taking part in. Whilst most of the time simple cardiovascular circuits will be used alongside a variety of sports, having some basic core strengthening exercises will really help your child's postural development. Exercises like planks, dorsal raises and crunches are easy to perform and carry with them a very low risk of injury. Yet they can really help to create muscular balance around the abdomen and lower spine, which can support your child's posture, especially when sitting for long periods of time at school.