Let’s Keep Our Kids Healthy…..How Pilates Can Teach Our Kids And Grandkids Healthy Habits.

 

Have you ever told your child to “sit up straight!” or “stop slouching”… well, we are all good at spotting when our children have become moulded into their chair, however is there something we could do to help prevent this becoming an ever increasing occurrence?

For all the positives, society has now transformed to make life more convenient and not necessarily good for keeping us active and healthy. Most of us are moving less and sitting more. Laptops, mobile phones, computer games, ipads do of course all contribute to the rise in posture related problems experienced by us all. What is more worrying is all these gadgets are being used by our children and they too are now starting to struggle with aches and pains.

We are seeing an ever increasing amount of children of all ages being brought to our clinic by their parents who are worried about their children’s health and posture. This is great on one hand as we love to see health conscious parents looking to give their children the best shot at having active, mobile and healthy lives and it’s fantastic to start such healthy habits in childhood as this gives them the best shot at becoming active, healthy adults.

On the other hand it is sad seeing say an 7 year old suffering joint aches and pains due to today’s technology. It’s sad to say but electronic gadgets are only part of the problem. There is a huge amount of pressure put on our youngsters to perform and succeed. They are revising harder, staying up late lying on their beds, hunched over a desk and trust me when it comes to priorities, passing exams wins over thinking about their posture every time.

Back in the day school desks were sloping and what a great invention that was, as having a sloping working surface means children have to stoop less than they do to a flat desk top.

 

So what can we do about combatting aches and pains in our children? ……PILATES!!!!

 

Pilates is an activity that EVERYONE can do, no matter what ability, and more relevant -no matter what age. Pilates can help establish correct principles of movement that our children will use for their entire lives.  Through strengthening muscle groups, practicing good sitting and standing posture. Pilates not only prevents pain, reduce their risk of injury, but most importantly it will help them to live active, healthy lifestyles.

A benefit sometimes underestimated with Pilates, but that is increasingly important for our youngsters, is the level of focus that it can teach children.  As Pilates is all about the mind-body connection it can create a more balanced and relaxed mind which children can then transfer into their schooling, homework and help them to learn to relax which can so easily be lost with today’s quick pace and pressured lifestyle.

The sad fact is, 30 years ago, children who were considered to be on the lower end of the fitness scale, would now be considered amongst our fittest! Children have “pure movements”, which is exactly as the name suggests. Just look at a toddler squat. Then see if you can copy it. I bet not many of you can. The reason this happens is the movements we are born to do get compromised as a result of poor posture, lack of exercise and activity in daily living (i.e. our children now are generally more sedentary than children in the 50s, 60, 70s and 80s). These more sedentary lifestyles along with head down postures in mobile phones, ipads and laptops are leading our generation of children to injury and pain.

We all learn skills and habits through repetition, so why not teach our children healthy ones that will set positive foundations for their future!

Written by Melanie Horton – Specialist Paediatric Physio and Pilates Instructor

 

If your child or grandchild is struggling with aches and pains or you have noticed they have bad posture and you want them to learn healthy habits they can take in to their adult life, here’s a special free report with 29 questions to ask before you choose who your child/grandchild should do Pilates with. Just click the link below to get your free copy: http://www.wdcphysiotherapy.co.uk/pilates/