Our expert says:
My personal opinion is that structured training should not be done until the age of about 17 years old (maybe in girls, this can be a little younger). Having said that, I think that everyone, no matter how old should be involved in a healthy lifestyle, and so it's a good thing that you are wanting to do. however, the distinction must be made between exercise and specific training - I think that for a 12 year old girl, the goal should be to get involved in as many sports as possible at school - hockey, netball, swimming, athletics etc. and you can really encourage her a lot with this. Then, the other thing is just practical - limit her TV time each day, and try to encourage her to walk to the shops for example, or to spend time outside etc. If you are a regular exerciser, then encourage her to join you, even if it's just a 30 minute walk. All these things are important, because if you can set a standard now, she'll be a healthy lifestyle follower for life, and so try to be interactive without putting too much pressure on her, as I mentioned.
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