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Muscles strong - but sometimes sore

Linda Stultz
Certified Fitness Trainer/Fitness Therapist

(3/2016) Muscles are wonderful, mysterious, and necessary but sometimes demanding things. Having good muscle tone is what helps us stand tall, lift our children and carry lifeís daily demands. As children grow they develop strong muscles just by running around, playing and doing everyday activities. Today we need to be sure they are getting enough movement and activity to keep those muscles strong since videos games, texting and watching TV have become a bigger part of our childrenís lifestyle. In the old days children were riding their bikes, playing ball with the neighbor kids and swinging on the playground.

Our whole level of activity has slowed down to a rate that we are seeing more obesity, diabetes and overall fatigue in our children, which in turn carries over into adulthood. Nutrition has also become a matter of concern. More and more children, as well as adults are eating fast food or processed food from a box on a regular basis because of the busy demands of work, sports practice and other activities in our lives.

I know you have heard this many times but as adults and especially as parents we need to take a little time out of our busy schedules to show our children how to take care of themselves so they can keep up with the things they need to accomplish in life and so they can do the things they enjoy as well. Nutrition and exercise are things we need to plan ahead for. Make it a family activity on one day of the week to plan the meals for the week, go shopping for the groceries and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Chop and package the veggies and fruit in baggies so they can be grabbed and taken along easily. Cook enough for two nights and have the extra warmed up a few days later. Give the kids one day a week that they can choose what is for dinner and they can help prepare it.

I know all of this takes extra time that we think we do not have but believe me, once you incorporate this into your schedule you will not only benefit from the healthier food and feel better but you will develop a closer family relationship with you children. Now that the nutrition has been taken care of the exercise will fall into place if you include the family the same way. Let the kids pick an activity they enjoy and make it a family event.

Once or twice a week is all it will take to develop a good habit that will improve the health and wellbeing of the whole family. Everyone will enjoy being together and hopefully you will all want to add another day or two so you can spend more time together. Your muscles will thank you, after they get finished telling you that you havenít used them in a while. By that I mean, they may get a little sore and achy for a week or so but after that they will be stronger and leaner.

Start slow and work your way up to a level that is challenging but not too strenuous that you cause an injury. Stretching, soaking in warm water and massaging the achy muscles will help them relax and take away some of the achiness if you overdo it a little. The more you work your muscles the more they will become lean and strong and soon you will not have any aches after a good workout. Make sure your children are doing light to moderate exercise because lifting too heavy or doing too much exercise can cause more harm than good for growing children. Their muscles need to be used, but not abused since they are still growing.

Children should never lift heavy weights in an exercise program, they are better lifting their own weight with pull ups, pushups or playing ball that will give them cardio as well as muscle strength. Our muscles are a vitally important part of our body and even though they may ache at times we need to keep them in the best shape that we can so they are lean and strong as we age. Strong muscle tone can keep us going for years instead of finding ourselves sitting in the chair and having trouble getting up. Teach by example and you will benefit and enjoy, as much as your children will from a strong core and muscle tone.

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