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Is Pilates the perfect exercise for children & teens?

Is Pilates the perfect exercise for children & teens?

At Suna Pilates we created Pilates classes specifically designed to strengthen and support the growing bodies of children aged 10-14 years. During these years children often grow rapidly, and it’s essential that their developing bodies get the right kind of exercise. Exercise for older children and early teens should be zero impact, with a focus on flexibility and balanced strength – and it should be fun!
pilates for kids

At Suna Pilates we created Pilates classes specifically designed to strengthen and support the growing bodies of children aged 10-14 years. During these years children often grow rapidly, and it’s essential that their developing bodies get the right kind of exercise. Exercise for older children and early teens should be zero impact, with a focus on flexibility and balanced strength – and it should be fun!
Our 45 minute SunaJuniors classes are built around the classic Pilates exercises and given a special refinement to ensure that every exercise takes extra care of growing early teenage bodies. This doesn’t mean that they are easy! SunaJuniors are high intensity zero-impact classes designed to give your sons and daughters a great fitness workout designed especially for kids.
The kids in our classes are so incredible to work with, and have a wide range of reasons for being Suna ‘early-adopters’!  Some of our ‘Pilates Kids’ are using Pilates as part of their fitness routine for their sporting passion; and swim, run or compete seriously. Others just want to feel fantastic about their bodies during what can be challenging years physically, and others want to keep the energy and vitality of childhood firing as they begin their journey to adulthood. Then again, many of the youth members at Suna get just as passionate about Pilates itself as the adults do!

Suna’s top five benefits of Pilates classes for kiwi kids & early teens

  1. Ditch the couch slouch!
    Our Pilates classes educate children and teenagers about consciously employing correct posture, so they develop great postural and body awareness. This sets them up to employ correct posture for their whole life maximising the health of their body and minimising injuries.
  1. Creating beautiful, well bodies
    Just as for adults, SunaJunior Pilates classes will help your child build balanced, whole-body strength, with increased mobility and flexibility.
  1. Pilates is zero impact
    As 10 - 14 year olds, it is essential that children and younger teens are coached safely through ‘age-and-stage’ appropriate exercises while their bodies are developing and growing.
  1. Grow sporty, fit kids
    Pilates is excellent for core conditioning and overall fitness levels to improve children’s sports performance - and dramatically reduce the potential of injuries.
  1. Breathing into a better life
    As with all Suna Pilates classes, juniors learn the focused breathing techniques essential to the Pilates exercises performed in class – and will develop a self-management tool that can help in daily life, especially with stress management.

We love building fit lifestyles – So kids can trial a Pilates class FREE

We use sports balls, mat work and SunaFit spring towers  in the SunaJuniors classes, which help participants to build core strength, flexibility, long lean muscles, strong healthy backs and improved body consciousness – just as the Suna Pilates adult clients do; and all with zero impact.

SunaFit spring towers  offer more resistance, for faster fitness and strength gains, and increased flexibility, better coordination and posture. This resistance also strengthens bones, and sculpts long strong muscles. Of course, as with all Suna Pilates classes, SunaJuniors will help burn off excess fat - so if your child is in that lean, knobbly knees phase, make sure they get the right nutrition to support the activity!

Is Suna Pilates right for your child?

Pilates really is an exercise for everyone, and that includes young people too! Our instructors ensure that each participant in the Pilates classes gets fantastic guidance and we have small class sizes where each child is encouraged to can work at the right pace for their body and fitness level.

Pilates for kids can help your child with health, fitness, energy levels, posture, stress relief and sporting goals. 

Children who exercise grow into healthier, more resilient adults

Scientists continue to find ways that exercise in childhood affects our health and wellbeing as adults - from professional success to better brains and less chance of obesity and cancer.

Childhood fitness can build better brains

Neuroscientists believe that increased physical activity in childhood affects the development of the structure and function of the child's brain, in particular memory, and the prefrontal cortex which is involved in our ability to think, reason and act on our thought rather than on impulse. 

This is because cardio exercise increases the metabolic rate and this leads the brain to:

  • build more capillaries for blood and oxygen transport, and
  • increase the number of synapses between neurons, allowing for better communication between parts of the brain. 

The research indicates that these benefits of exercising apply throughout our lifetimes as older people who exercise have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In fact scientists believe that exercise has psychological benefits for everyone - the difference is that during childhood and the teen years, the brain is quite literally being built in a way that will affect the person's entire life. 

And, of course, childhood exercise and activity creates lifetime habits - fit active children are more likely to be fit active adults. Exercise boosts dopamine and serotonin, making people feel good about working out - but having fitness as part of normal childhood life means as adults we are more likely to seek out ways to be active too - because it is 'part of normal life'.

Fitness may actually be 'in your bones'

Research on bones has shown that exercise before puberty has long lasting effects that deliver health benefits even for adults who no longer exercise.

Professor Elwyn Firth works in the Depeartment of Exercise Sciences and explains that exercise in childhood changes gene expression “There are big differences in their bone mass, density and mineral content compared to those who haven’t done that exercise. Even if the exercise ceases in adulthood, these differences persist for 10 years or more, especially if the exercise began before puberty.”

Adults who exercised as children:
  • are less likely to get bone diseases like osteoporosis, and
  • will process food differently, as gene expression can alter the body’s inflammatory response to a high-calorie diet.
  • be less likely to get to inflammatory-related diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Fitness is good for you even before you are born

Mothers who exercise during or before pregnancy pass on benefits through their blood and hormone levels which can improve the oxygen capacity, energy storage and muscle health of their newborn baby. 

Can childhood activity impact how much a person achieves?

A Swedish study on 1.5 million men traced over three decades of their life, and found that cardio fitness in adolescence appears to result in better cognition in middle age. The researchers suggest that teenagers who exercise are more likely to have career success.

We're big believers in teaching our children well

There you have it. Scientists love fitness, and so do we. At Suna we completely believe that children who exercise grow into healthier adults, but we have an additional focus in our SunaFamily classes - Great posture. We believe that teaching children to exercise in the right posture and to understand good posture when they are young helps them exercising effectively, but in the long term, great posture in life reduces issues with bad backs, necks, knees etc - and these children are 'future-proofed' against these problems as they age. Lets teach our children good habits while they are young, that will last a life time and contribute to lifetime well-being.

Join us!