Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
Exercise to Manage Childhood Obesity
May 2, 2006

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If I wanted my son who is chubby to strength train, what are the guidelines? (Carol, Greenvale)

Strength training is great for children 10 and up because it improves focus, boosts academic performance and social self-confidence. Strength training will help him perform better in all sports – he won’t be picked last! Also, it will teach your son life-long healthy habits about exercise and diet. However, safety precautions must be taken because children are anatomically and mentally immature. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Trained personnel to supervise and teach proper warm-up and lifting techniques.
  • Do 1 to 2 sets of different exercises (8-12 reps per set); include the major muscle groups.
  • Use multi-joint exercises.
  • Limit training to 2 times per week that means 2 to 3 days of rest in between sessions.
  • Encourage other sports and activities.
  • Never exercise a child to complete fatigue.
  • Keep resistance light enough to perform at least (8-10 reps). When the child becomes stronger, you can increase repetitions first and then resistance.
  • Include a flexibility program.
  • Good nutrition supervised by you will tie it all together. The key is to make fitness fun which will keep your child motivated.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on