Early strength training can decrease kids’ health risks, finds Baylor study
Parents have long encouraged their kids to eat their vegetables and run off their energy in an effort to keep their kids healthy. Should they be instructing their children to pump some iron, too?
That’s probably going a bit too far… But the results of a new study co-authored by a Baylor professor do show that early strengthening activities (such as rock-climbing, push-ups and pilates) can lead to a decrease in certain health risks for both kids and teens.
Until recently, treatment for adolescent obesity focused mostly on healthy eating and aerobic exercise. But the new study, published in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that adding strength-building exercises can help teens reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. The researchers concluded that strength capacity made a difference, even when controlling for other variables such as physical activity participation.
One of the study’s four co-authors is Dr. Paul Gordon, chair of Baylor’s Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation. Gordon came to Baylor last fall after 12 years at West Virginia University and five years at the University of Michigan, where he was director of the Laboratory for Physical Activity and Exercise and an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine.
Sic ’em, Dr. Gordon!