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Vigorous Exercise for Children

A study from France shows that a 13 week training program caused 10 and 11 year old children to develop significantly stronger hearts and an increased ability to take in and use oxygen. Boys and girls exercised at greater than 80 percent of their maximum heart rate for one hour, three times a week. The girls gained the same improvement from exercise as the boys.

Their resting heart rates decreased, signifying that their hearts could pump more blood with each beat, and they had a marked increase in their ability to exercise intensely. This study shows that children can be trained as vigorously as adults. However, children in vigorous training programs should be allowed to take days off each week and have plenty of time to be children. Another study showed that 90 percent of fourth to sixth grade children in a cross country racing program did not compete in high school.

Cardiovascular responses to endurance training in children: effect of gender. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2003, Vol 33, Iss 3, pp 199-208. P Obert, S Mandigouts, S Nottin, A Vinet, LD NGuyen, AM Lecoq. Obert P, Fac Sci Avignon, Lab Physiol Adaptat Cardiovasc Exercise, Dept STAPS, 33 Rue Louis Pasteur, F-84000 Avignon, FRANCE

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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