Solon: Should we let children lift weights?

Pio Solon

IN A few weeks’ time, summer is upon us. This is also the time when parents have to think of strategies to keep their children busy rather than have them sit and play video games or tinker with gadgets all day.

What’s a good age for children to start lifting weights? The answer over the past few years has changed to allow more children to get into lifting at a younger age as long as they are supervised well. Why should we teach children how to lift weights?

It helps us teach children how to rise through adversity. Tough workouts, challenging exercises—these are tools to teach children how to handle adversity while getting off the couch.

Lifting weights is the opposite of instant gratification. You will not look good right away. No. You have to put in the work day in and day out. Seeing results requires effort and adherence to a plan. Lifting weights and seeing progress is the opposite of taking shortcuts.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make you shorter. We used to think that weight training stunts growth. Nothing can be further from the truth. Lifting weights actually helps strengthen the bone and muscles and can help when a child reaches peak height velocity.

Lifting weights can be beneficial for mental health. Strength training aids in the release of positive neurotransmitters that help us with our mood and learning. For kids who have been bullied before, lifting weights can also help with their self-esteem.

Strength training is safe for children, provided children are supervised adequately. Let’s help children get fitter this summer!