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Question
Posted by: MomofC | 2011/06/03

10 year old and excercise

Hi Doc

My son is 10 years old and is overweight, he weighs 56kg''s, I have purchased a treadmill and want him to start walking in the evenings.

My question is for how long should I let him walk at a time and how do I gradually increase the time/pace etc. Does he need to do streches before and and also what other exercise can he so. His weight is mainly in the stomach area, he eats healthy and does not even like chocolates and cakes etc.

Your advise will be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

I think the key is to focus on the play aspect. If you force a 10 year old into structured training, I pretty much guarantee that by 14 he'll resent it and by 18 when leaving home he'll never be physically active. Children play, they don't train and so while the treadmill is good, the best thing is to facilitate activity through group sports at school. The process of getting overweight in the first place is complex, it's not that well understood, but it almost certainly involves inactivity and so really you have to correct that. And while it helps, even 30 minutes a day on the treadmill may not be enough if the other 23 hours 30 minutes a day are inactive.

The diet is obviously key - I know you said he eats well, which is great, but there may be some very small and subtle changes you can make - portion sizes,the occasional junk food, what he drinks (drinks are a huge source of unaccounted for calories).

But really the key is fun. And companionship, so if you can do it with him, or better still, involve people his own age, then the chances of success are infinitely higher.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/06/09

Hi there

I think the key is to focus on the play aspect. If you force a 10 year old into structured training, I pretty much guarantee that by 14 he'll resent it and by 18 when leaving home he'll never be physically active. Children play, they don't train and so while the treadmill is good, the best thing is to facilitate activity through group sports at school. The process of getting overweight in the first place is complex, it's not that well understood, but it almost certainly involves inactivity and so really you have to correct that. And while it helps, even 30 minutes a day on the treadmill may not be enough if the other 23 hours 30 minutes a day are inactive.

The diet is obviously key - I know you said he eats well, which is great, but there may be some very small and subtle changes you can make - portion sizes,the occasional junk food, what he drinks (drinks are a huge source of unaccounted for calories).

But really the key is fun. And companionship, so if you can do it with him, or better still, involve people his own age, then the chances of success are infinitely higher.

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