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Early Childhood Physical Development

Early childhood physical development is just as important as childhood mental and psychological development.

There is so much focus all the time on intellect and on children learning to count, naming colours and writing their name that quite often their physical development gets neglected. Don’t get me wrong, there are many programmes that do great things for early childhood physical development. The only issue is that they generally only focus on things like gross motor skills.

The neglected part I am referring to is their level of physiological conditioning. It’s fine for a child to possess great technical skill and body awareness, however many so-called experts see actual raw physical output in the form of intense activity as dangerous. This is the way for adults also. The focus is on gently and ever so gradually developing their fitness and strength.

Children are not as fragile as you are led to believe. Just as adults and the elderly aren’t either. A child's physical development should be looked at from a complete point of view, not through the eyes of those who create the policies and regulations that only cause more physical issues like obesity.

So the following are some points I have observed and researched thoroughly on early childhood physical development. Ignore them, follow them, forget about them. Really it is of no concern to me. This is just a list of observations and research on the subject, see it for what it is…

- Children between the ages of 4 and 16 are capable of outputting as much energy within a 24 hour period as elite athletes.

- It has been proven many times that the muscular development and fibre type distribution is determined in early childhood and cannot be altered after adulthood.

- Obesity in children is on the rise. Kids involved in high intensity sports have highly developed muscular systems and less health problems.

- Kids who have a higher level of anaerobic conditioning and strength development are injured less often during playful and sporting activities.

- Strength training in children has been shown not to cause stunted growth and developmental issues as was once assumed.

- Ukranian weight lifter Varya Akulova was thought to have developmental and health issues at age 13. However after a full medical screen it was determined she was in a healthier state than any girl her age according to that doctor. She has been training intensely with weights since she was a toddler.

My advice is to seek professional consultation and involve your child in high intensity physical conditioning. Children involved in sports such as gymnastics develop lifelong adaptations to joints, muscles, neurology and psychology. This applies to kids involved in sports requiring a similar range in skills and physiological ability.

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