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Train up a child – Part 2

Yesterday we talked about having everyone involved in fitness is one of the best things a family can do together. The first major benefit of fitness for kids that we discussed is that it helps them to develop an idea and a plan for healthy living. Today we will talk about the next major benefit: focus.

It improves their focus

My oldest son struggled with attention and focus in class. We consulted with several experts and decided, in the case of my son, he simply needed to strengthen his body and get more activity to be able to sustain long periods of sitting. An expert could explain so much more, but we learned that since the body develops core to extremity, things like your hands, feet and even your eyes are the last to strengthen. In the case of my child, his hands and feet had a hard time staying still due to the inability of his body to hold them still. Also, his eyes constantly moved from side to side, causing him to be distracted. A lot. With the help of an occupational therapist for nearly three years, he has been able to strengthen these muscles and learn coordination that allow him better fine motor skills (his handwriting is SO much better) and more concentration. The prescription after these therapy sessions was to move. Do yoga, climb, run, whatever needed to be done to get him strong and moving. Since I was so actively involved in CrossFit, I signed him up for a class tailored to kids. It helped him tremendously. Not only did his strength and confidence improve drastically, but his focus improved. He was using energy and strengthening muscles that helped him focus while he was in the classroom. He doesn’t do CrossFit all of the time, we have other sports and activities he wants to do as well, but we incorporate it any chance we get.

I always tell my children that their “job” is school. I make sure they do their homework, and help them in any way I can, as we all do. The best thing we can do is equip them with the tools to function at optimum level through life, and without fitness their bodies aren’t prepared for school. Burning energy and controlling your body are so important for our children. Lastly, the conversation about children and fitness will continue tomorrow, focusing on the family aspect of fitness.

By Amanda Stewart, CFL1, Contributing Writer, #boymom

**We just started our January CrossFit Kids course at CrossFit West of the River – hop over to the CrossFit Kids page to find out all the details and get your kids signed up – there are 5 spots left!**

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