Exercise is good, but do little kids really need to join gyms and hire personal trainers?

According to the Contra Costa Times, around the Bay Area, kids as young as 3 are “learning some of the same exercises – modified for their ages – their parents are doing.” They are working with personal trainers, taking yoga classes, doing Zumba and even signing up for kiddie boot camp.

“Parents want their kids to be introduced to a gym and have the tools for exercising later on,” Robert Jackson, personal trainer and co-owner of the gym Forma, told Contra Costa Times. Forma has about 50 children, ages 6 and up, as clients. Their parents fork over up to $75 an hour for one-on-one training sessions. Of course, it isn’t for everyone as some people just stick to Personal Trainers for themselves and not their kids.

With all the talk of the childhood obesity epidemic, some wealthy parents are willing to pay money to make sure their kids get the activity they need. I also imagine, it won’t be long before parents are looking into ‘how to become a personal trainer‘ so they can train their children themselves.

What ever happened to good old-fashioned playing? Bike riding, playing tag, and hula hooping?

In some cases, parents foot the bill for professional training so that their kids could get an edge in team sports. Other times, parents hope that having a trainer will help boost their child’s self esteem. Although personal training is a great way for everyone to get motivated (if you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, you’ll need to have specialist insurance for fitness professionals) it’s debatable as to whether kids should be taking part in it from such a young age.

“We’re giving him all the tools he needs to succeed,” said dad Nelson Galambos, who signed his son Zakery up for personal training to help him excel at ice hockey. “Not only does it keep him busy and out of trouble, he excels. It’s a wise investment.”

Some parents have the mistaken impression that it’s safer for their kids to exercise as a gym than play outside. As a result of the safety measures, it is not uncommon for parents to opt for online personal training during the pandemic. However, they still might require a certain amount of playtime outside, obviously, under supervision. At this age, allowing them to experience outside games and enjoy them could give them a sense of normalcy.

Mom Staci Thompson, who used to teach physical education, said that when she was a kid, she used to play outside with friends all day and her parents would leave the door unlocked. Now she brings her 3-year-old daughter Sierra to the gym to exercise, noting that she locks the door as soon as she gets home. “It’s just not the same as it used to be out there,” said Thompson.

With cuts to school’s phys ed programs and the disturbing rise in childhood obesity, are drastic measures needed to get kids moving? Or is this just a misguided effort guided by privileged parents who are making their kids neurotic?

What do you think? Would you sign your toddler up for personal training sessions?

Article originally found here.

Casey’s Comments

I find it a bit extreme to have kids doing personal training, even as a personal trainer myself. But I do believe that organized indoor activites are good for kids, it’s true schools are cutting P.E, and many parents feel that it’s not as safe as it used to be for kids to run around the neighborhood and play. So keeping your kids fit is a wise investment in their future. Modeling this is important and your kids will grow up learning and knowing that staying healthy and fit can improve their lives in many ways. So get your kids to a yoga class today! 😉

Namaste & Play