Does Your Child Need a Personal Trainer?

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Personal training isn't just for celebrities fact, it isn't just for adults anymore. More and more parents are hiring personal trainers to work with their kids to help them stave off a major problem we're seeing lately - childhood obesity. Some statistics show that about 30% of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight while about 15% are obese. With PE classes on the decline, it's no surprise that many parents are turning to personal trainers for help.

If you're looking for ways to get your kids more active, is personal training the answer?

Personal Training for Kids

One reason parents are turning to personal trainers is to help their kids excel at sports. Another major reason, of course, is help in managing weight problems. Whatever the reason, the decision to hire a personal trainer should be up to you and your child. One thing we do know is that getting kids and teens to exercise can be tough...forcing your child into a type of activity or exercise he doesn't like can backfire and not every child will enjoy working with a personal trainer.

If your child does express interest in working with a trainer, you might wonder what a trainer can do for your child. A good trainer can help her find activities she can enjoy while teaching her the proper way to exercise for her age and goals. A trainer can also teach her how to lift weights, which has a number of benefits for kids and teens such as:

  • More strength
  • Protection from injuries
  • Better health
  • Higher self-esteem and confidence

A trainer can help determine what your child is capable of and teach your child how to exercise safely, effectively, and most importantly, how to have some fun so these habits stick into adulthood.

Other reasons you may want your child to work with a trainer are:

  • Sports specific training. Athletes often need specialized training and kids who want to pursue sports may want or need help from a professional to strengthen their bodies, increase their power and endurance and protect them from injuries.
  • Guidance for exercise. You may feel at a loss if your child wants to exercise or lift weights and you're not sure you have the expertise to show them what to do. If that's the case, the right personal trainer can help you set up a good program that fits your child's age, goals and fitness level.
  • Dislike of organized sports or group fitness. Some kids may not like typical PE or sports, but still want to get in shape. Working one-on-one with a trainer can be a safe environment for them to get fit and strong without feeling self-conscious.

Choosing a Personal Trainer

When choosing a personal trainer for your child, make sure that he or she has:

  1. A nationally recognized personal trainer certification and/or a degree in an exercise-related field.
  2. Experience working with kids and/or teens. Do they have any education in Child Development?
  3. A certification in CPR and First Aid.
  4. You sign a waiver for kids under 18.
  5. If working at a gym or health club, has a plan in place to deal with emergencies.
  1. Requirements for a health screening and, possibly, a doctor's release before beginning training. The trainer should also provide a goal sheet for your child.
  2. A list of emergency information such as allergies, medications and emergency contacts.
  3. Plans to track workouts and keep charts of progress.
  4. Liability insurance.
  5. A personality that works well with your child.

When it comes to taking care of your child's health, fitness and quality of life there are any number of things you can do to support them. Personal training is just one more option you have for managing weight problems and teaching your child how to live a healthy life.


American Obesity Association. Obesity in Youth. Fact Sheet. Retrieved 6 June 2006.

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