Can children do too much exercise/sport? At what point is it unhealthy
My daughter is taking part in a school programme which is designed to encourage exercise (Not that she needs it). Basically for every amount of time she is exercising they get credited a mile. They are hoping to ‘run’ 100miles each I think. What it has done is highlight how much exercise she does. She was getting teased at school because she had done twice as much as the nearest person to her and tbh, that was a light week for her.
She got a fitbit for Christmas and its been great fun keeping track of things. I am not getting hung up on things like heart rate other than to comment on how high or low it gets during sleep/exercise. However it also monitors exercise and its been quite revealing.
She does compete at sport and a lot of the activity is based on this but tbh, if she isn’t doing this (and she often asks me for extra because its her love) she’s also practising her moves for another sport she does. She cant sit still and if we are watching tv as a family, she is doing cartwheels and stretches and whatever else involving swinging legs and arms around.
Does it ever get to the point where she could be doing herself harm?Posted 5 years agophiljuniorFree Member
Well, apart from the obvious and constant risk of injury with any sport or activity, I wouldn’t worry about it. It sounds like she enjoys it so let her!Posted 5 years ago
Just had a look. She has done 19.5hrs of training since turn of the year which I suppose averages out at nearly 2hrs per day. But this also involves some rest days.
She is never injured (Touch wood). Loves the sport she does and is reaping lots of benefits from it. I just worry its too much.Posted 5 years agoqwertyFree Member
Didn’t too much sport used to be linked to damaging growth plates??? May have been the impact. I have no evidence of this other than it ringing a bell back in the 80s.Posted 5 years agomonkeysfeetFree Member
Miss Monkeysfeet is similar to your daughter. Runs for the County and For school. Taking part in a XC Run on the 18th if this month. She cycles but loves to run. The only issue she has had is an injury to her shoulder (of all things) but Dr checked her over an advised ibuprofen.Posted 5 years ago
Only time she had to take it easy was late last year due to Glandular fever.P-JayFree Member
Does it ever get to the point where she could be doing herself harm?
Possibly, my Wife, but far more so my Sister in Law was very into Gymnastics as small kids, I have issues with Gymnastics.
There seems to be two channels – the ‘fun’ side, lots of kids on a Saturday morning, larking about, jumping off and onto shit for an hour or two, all good fun whilst Mum or Dad drinks coffee.
Then there’s the ‘Elite’ side, lots of little kids, usually girls being trained to be the next Nadia Comaneci and that shit is brutal. It’s training, competition, training competition and the coaches are ****, no lessor a word will do. I once witness, with my own eyes and ears a girl of no more than 4 being folded in two by her coach, tears pouring down her face and asking them to stop, I was just about to tell the guy to ease up before I folded him in two, when the girls Mum told him to carry on “she’s only playing up”. Make no mistake, if anyone tried that with my daughter – I’d break their legs, then I’d set about the owner/boss for letting it happen, then come back at night and burn the place to the ground not leaving the scene until I knew for absolute certancy that the building was beyond repair. My rage would know no bounds.
Anyway, I went off reservation there, it still bothers me thinking of it now – anyway SIL, training at 5am every morning before school, comp most weekends, school work all to shit and had to quit in mid-teens as Body had had enough, worn out like a 35 year old Footballer, at 15.Posted 5 years agosteve_b77Free Member
When, as witnessed at several rounds of this seasons cross league they are being encouraged by parents in an overenthusiastic manor and the child is crying, but carrying on. That’s when it’s to muchPosted 5 years ago
Because of her activity I am very aware of growth injuries and such like. Its something I monitor to the point where she is currently being held back because she wants to start a type of training which tbh she shouldn’t be doing for a few years but she knows her competitors are already doing. Its a constant battle.
Its already defining her shape but an athletic figure isnt a bad thing. Her hands are the main worry but I monitor this and her training is reduced intentionally if her eating habits change as I have read that overtraining during growth spurts is the most dangerous and susceptible to injuriesPosted 5 years agobigyinnFree Member
If it ceases to be fun or enjoyable, then she shouldn’t be doing it.Posted 5 years ago
Pjay that’s the same in most sports. I understand its not everyones bag to push and be competitive but I also understand someones own desire to improve. At present I try my absolute best to keep my competitive nature under wraps. My daughters training is technique only. She is incredibly strong due to the amount of time she sepnds climbing but if someone finds their sport fun, isn’t that the best training?
I have never, and would never push her beyond her physical limits other than to encourage a move which she may find daunting. That’s something which every so often happens but we trust each other and I trust myself not to exceed her safety levels (Her mum would kill me)Posted 5 years agomonksieFree Member
“Then there’s the ‘Elite’ side, lots of little kids, usually girls being trained to be the next Nadia Comaneci and that shit is brutal. It’s training, competition, training competition and the coaches are ****, no lessor a word will do. I once witness, with my own eyes and ears a girl of no more than 4 being folded in two by her coach, tears pouring down her face and asking them to stop, I was just about to tell the guy to ease up before I folded him in two, when the girls Mum told him to carry on “she’s only playing up”.
An everyday scene at Stockport Metro swimming club. Lots of Olympians coming out of that place but it’s certainly brutal.Posted 5 years ago
Bigyinn, that’s not a problem for me. I get messages while I am at work asking me if I cant take her climbing and she is sat there waiting in her gear ready to go. I don’t get to eat until 8-9pm most nights.
My question was more based on restricting her from activities she wants to be doing. Not the other way aroundPosted 5 years ago
How old is she?Posted 5 years ago
monkeysfeet, do you ever consider the impact on her joints with the running? Do you monitor her growth so that you can reduce training when she is on a growth spurt? Sounds intense but I have really bad knees from all the training I did as a kid and I would stop the lot if I felt it would hinder her in future years.Posted 5 years ago
9yrs oldPosted 5 years ago
Thanks for the comments so far. Been worrying about this for a while.
This is just the ‘training’. She loves any type of activity so cycling, scooters, swimming, trampolining, cheerleading etc are all thrown in too. A coach advised me the best coaching for a youngster is to vary their sport so we try to fit other things in.
How does this stuff effect a childs heart?Posted 5 years ago
If it ceases to be fun or enjoyable, then she shouldn’t be doing it.
Though if they want to be competitive at sport at that age (and there is an argument that they shouldn’t be) then they’ll have to work hard.
There’s lots OF BS about damaging their poor little bodies, though I’ve yet to find any proper studies.
Ton did mention to me that his lad had Osgood-Schlatter Disease when he was younger. But that disappears as soon as they stop over doing it, afaik with no long term effects.Posted 5 years ago
I had Osgoods too as a youngster which did dissapear. However I ended up with knock knees (inherited from my dad), knee pain from late teens to early 30’s. Snapped patella tendon in right knee which destroyed any chance of running again and had a leg realignment procedure on the left leg to try to get a few more years out of my knee. I have chronic arthritis in both knees and I am looking at 2 new knees before I get much beyond 50.
My daughter has knock knees too (My son not so. She has been positively encouraged not to partake in any running based activities
I am acutely aware of the impacts sport in early years can effect the rest of your life. Maybe I am a overly worried but I do find it interesting. Strangely I don’t find much info published about it tbhPosted 5 years ago
I am acutely aware of the impacts sport in early years can effect the rest of your life.
I think it has many positives. Self confidence, maturity, and a general knowledge that helps greatly at school.Posted 5 years ago
My daughter is now 11 and as school work has starting to ramp up (11+ grammar school area) over the past 12-18 months she has consciously dropped some of her activities and is now choosing to focus on on fewer.
At 9, I’d just let her do what she wants to do. Assuming you don’t think she’s doing anything just to please you or that you’re putting her under any pressure, then I am sure it will self regulate as it needs to. Some kids have more energy than others, some are interested in everything, some nothing.
Once she gets to secondary school I am sure it’ll all change and you’ll be wanting her to do more! Maybe not, and she might just be the next Jessica Ennis!Posted 5 years agofreeagentFree Member
Interesting subject, particularly as the father of two girls (aged 6 and 9)
They both enjoy exercise/sport – the eldest does 4 hours of dance/drama on Saturdays, and a floor gym class on Tuesday eve.
We specifically chose a ‘non-competitive’ dance school, which doesn’t do grades/exams. She has a few issues with her joints (caused by Hypermobility) and is under GOSH – they’re suggestion is regular, moderate exercise is the best thing for her, but to stop if/when it hurts.
The younger is super competitive and goes to a slightly more serious Gymnastics club on Saturdays mornings. They do push the kids to be the best they can be, but I’ve never witnessed anything beyond gentle encouragement.
The kids do work through the BGA awards scheme, but everyone does it at their own pace.
It is a really difficult thing to get right, but I want my kids to have a positive relationship with sport/exercise, and to enjoy the time they spend doing it.
They both missed their respective clubs over Christmas, and were keen to go back this week.
We have friends with kids the same age as ours who are big into swimming. The eldest swims/trains 10 hours per week, which I feel is too much.
Interesting that both parents very nearly made it to national swimming standard, but weren’t quite good enough.
It took me until my late 30s before I realised a bike ride was great therapy, regardless of being good for me.Posted 5 years agoTreksterFull Member
Speak to Alison B next time you see her at the wall, she’s a physio(as you probably know)and you know how active she is/has been since a kid!!!Posted 5 years agoI_did_dabFull Member
I would say don’t exercise if poorly/under the weather, sore/injured, or not feeling it – otherwise humans are a lot tougher than we have allowed ourselves to think we are.Posted 5 years agowinterfoldFree Member
I would have said no, until my daughter hit puberty, then I think the answer is yes. She was doing rugby and horse riding, and went she went from ponies to proper gee gees it was all a bit much, when combined with ‘games’ at school and growing like weeds. So she dropped rugby 🙁 (and now I have no money for new bikes or food…)
Why do swimmers stop being competitive at such a young age? is a good question to ask I feel.Posted 5 years ago
Hi trekster. I haven’t got any specific worries to bother Alison with. Lily is as fit as a fiddle and other than getting the odd cold very hardy. It was more the volume of her workouts which I have been paying attention to lately. It kind of shocked me. Might speak to her in general and see what she thinks. I hoped someone on here was going to link to loads of reports and theories about children and sport which I could have a read of.Posted 5 years agoparkesieFree Member
Don’t confuse other children’s inactivity with your child being too active. If she’s happy enjoying it and not suffering injuries carry on.Posted 5 years agojambalayaFree Member
Depends on age really. My kids where always pretty active, extra sports after school etc. This really stepped up when middle one started swimming very seriously (all 3 joined competitve club at age 10 which is as soon as they are allowed) and she’d do 4-5 sessions a week. Packed it in at 13 as she found it too much, other kids who kept it up (inc to Commonwealth games) did far more from ages 13-16. I played in all the school teams and would do sports 5 days a week. As adults we’d all ride a bike every day eg commuting so it’s about their age really and managing growing issues (particularly imo for girls)Posted 5 years ago
Oh well, worrying about nothing then seems to be the opinion.
I would say she is doing more than normal but as long as its off her own back, she isn’t in pain and enjoying it then no harm done.
If anyone has any links to any reports on sport and how it effects youngsters I would be interestedPosted 5 years agotonFull Member
Ton did mention to me that his lad had Osgood-Schlatter Disease when he was younger. But that disappears as soon as they stop over doing it, afaik with no long term effects.
my lad had this from 12 to 14 iirc. he was cycling with me on a weekend, trail centers mainly. he was riding his bmx most nights and he was also rugby training and playing too.
our family doctor said he was doing too much exercise. this was also the thoughts of a pal who is a rugby physio.
long term rest stopped the symptoms.Posted 5 years ago
I had Osgood-Schlatter when I was about 14 and was told it was due to too much cycling and sport in general. I still have two pronounced bumps at the top of each shin and can’t kneel on hard surfaces at all. No other long term effects and seem to recall it healed pretty quickly when I backed off sport for a couple of months.Posted 5 years ago
I don’t want to effect what is a tragic thread about Nick Craigs son, however it has pricked my attention more to this thread I posted recently. I have zero information other than to read the lad went to sleep and didn’t wake up so I am not even attempting to make a link other than what has happened was part of the reason for this original thread.
I remember reading about Terry Yoraths son who basically keeled over and died in his own back yard whilst having a kick about. I haven’t read it again but I remember it as a boy and I think it was a pre existing condition that they can now screen for and is prevalent in young athletes. I haven’t the knowledge to go into details in any conversation, however this mornings tragic news has made me want to know more.
Its maybe not the time and I definitely don’t want any of this to go anywhere near the other thread but I am sure there are links to extremely fit young athletes and the ‘possibility’.
I have found this so farpatonFree Member
Some advantages in being physically active when young
I like that. Look at the positives. ThanksPosted 5 years agoBillOddieFull Member
If it ceases to be fun or enjoyable, then she shouldn’t be doing it.
Yep! Kids need to PLAY!
I know kids who either play academy football or are training for football in some shape or form every single day. At the age of seven! I’m sure their school work will be great! And when the academy no longer want them because their not as talented as they think they are…
I also heard from the wife who takes my youngest to fun gymnastics sessions at a local club that the “Elite” lads at age 9 or 10 train ever night midweek and twice a day at the weekends.
What worries me rather than load as historically kids are very active, is more specialisation. Kids should be doing all sorts of different activities until well into their teens (and beyond in my opinion), over emphasizing a very limited range of movement patterns at such a young age seems crazy to me. It’s doubly bad as the activity in lots of cases is chosen by the parents rather than the kids.
I coach U9s rugby and we’re limited to basically 2 x 1 hour training/games per week. That combined with the charging around the school playground, swimming lessons, after school sports clubs and the like seems about right to me.
This is interesting reading:Posted 5 years ago
In my amateur way I wouldn’t say two hours a day is too much at allPosted 5 years agosaynotobasemilesFree Member
Main thing to watch is any injuries that may be caused by poor technique in any sport. Osgood is normally due to impact sports and hard surfaces so running, football, rugby, basketball etc
An absolute must, is to make sure they (and the rest of the team(s) they are in, should be encouraged too) get an ecg once a year. Crucial in spotting any underlying heart conditions that can be exasperated by sport.
I did 10hrs+ from 12-14 and then 15hrs+ from 14-18 (swimming) along with school football/rugby teams and riding etc. The only thing I would say is to make sure there is no sudden stoppage, i.e. quitting out right. If I don’t do at least 6hrs a week now, I will begin to get irritable, very down and find work etc harder. I think perhaps due to the brain developing with certain levels of chemicals and generally being used to increased levels from training/sport and then not having these high levels causes everything to get out of shape.
As long as it’s still fun then no probs!Posted 5 years ago
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