Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:58 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:12 pm
Your list is primarily group activities. If he doesn't like sports, having to do them with others may be even worse.

Walk lots. Walk to get places, walk to the park, walk for fun (frisbee golf, hike), walk to clear his head.

Some limited body weight exercises. Start with 20 situps and 20 pushups a day. They can be one or two at a time if that is what it takes to start a lifelong habit.
+1

What is he doing all day now? Certainly he isn't spending all of his time sitting on the floor drawing? If it is nearly all sedentary activities, make him do something else instead.

You seem far too focused on group activities to hold both of you "accountable." He does not need to be on the swim team for swimming to be a good activity for him, for example. As I kid I loved swimming, but I would have hated to have been on a swim team.

Just get him moving doing something--anything at this point. Start small with activities he enjoys (or might enjoy) rather than forcing him to participate for hours or daily in something he hates. If he is overweight now, almost any physical activity is going to be unpleasant for him at the start. Get there gradually, not by overdoing it. Good luck!

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Elsebet
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Elsebet » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:59 pm

If he's still gaining weight with a restricted diet he has to be getting calories you're not aware of. Can you help him track his calories for a few weeks?

I really like body weight fitness/calisthenics. I'm not athletic at all but I went from being able to do 0 pushups to doing 3 sets of 9 after about 1.5 years and it is a huge personal accomplishment. Feeling stronger is a big self-confidence boost.

The entire recommended routine can be setup at home with minimal equipment:

https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitn ... ed_routine
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

FI4LIFE
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by FI4LIFE » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:10 pm

In another year or two, I would suggest getting him into weightlifting. The big lifts like barbell squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, barbell row. He will likely be able to gain strength faster than most scrawny 12-13 year-olds, which will build confidence. Being "big" is accepted and even admired in weightlifting circles because, generally, the more you weigh, the more weight you can lift. A program like "Stronglifts" or "Starting Strength" would be great for a beginner.

TN_Boy
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:12 pm

totallystudly wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:49 pm
Is weight lifting too early for an 11 year old?
No. I started at 12 and earned an athletic scholarship to a tier 1 University.

My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight
.

Look, if you guys don't want to workout, why should you kid do it? You want him to do something and have an interest in something you guys clearly don't have yourselves. Where do you think he got the model for being overweight from...

You aren't just "athletic" by default. Nobody is "naturally sporty" You have to work at it. You guys aren't athletic because you don't do athletic things, not the other way around. Gotta lift and do cardio. People don't just wake up and run a 10 second hundred yard dash, they train for it. I didn't wake up one day and bench press 400 pounds, I trained for it.

<We went horseback riding on vacation one summer and he enjoyed that. But is that really a workout?>

Come on guys, you know the answer to this, that's a workout for the horse, maybe. Working out gets your heart rate up. It should be uncomfortable. It's not supposed to be fun.
Tried golf and he was decent at it but not sure it provided the cardio workout I would like him to have
.

You know it doesn't provide the cardio workout you want him to have.

What about a sport like rugby? Or CrossFit?
Golf walking/pushing a cart and playing reasonably fast burns a lot of calories. Substantially more than just walking. My heart rate stays higher when briskly pushing a golf cart and playing 18 than it does walking 14 1/2 minute miles. It's not near as good a cardio workout as running, but it's better than totalstudly thinks. Golf can be either a social or individual activity. And there are strength/flexibility workouts oriented toward golf fitness, if someone got into the sport.

The vast majority of people on this planet cannot run a 10 second 100 yard dash or bench 400 pounds, regardless of how much they train. Those numbers require (substantial) talent. Much of being a good athlete is genetic. Many people are obviously better natural athletes than others; saying otherwise is denying reality. That doesn't mean almost everyone* cannot substantially improve both their overall fitness and ability in a given sport. Exercise is a very good thing and we should all do it.

* Different people respond differently to exercise; it is false to believe that anyone putting in the time will see good results: see https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/ ... an-others/ or https://coach.nine.com.au/fitness/non-r ... c341d05fbf

The information I post above has been around for a while, and continues to be one of the more surprising tidbits on exercise I have ever read. You can google it and see more results. Personally, I seem to be about normal; if I run, I improve my ability to run. If I lift, I get stronger. Both up to a point of course.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:17 pm

totallystudly wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:49 pm

My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight
.

Look, if you guys don't want to workout, why should you kid do it? You want him to do something and have an interest in something you guys clearly don't have yourselves. Where do you think he got the model for being overweight from...

You aren't just "athletic" by default. Nobody is "naturally sporty" You have to work at it. You guys aren't athletic because you don't do athletic things, not the other way around. Gotta lift and do cardio. People don't just wake up and run a 10 second hundred yard dash, they train for it. I didn't wake up one day and bench press 400 pounds, I trained for it.
This! Reminds me of the parents who complain about their kids’ screen time but they spend hours on their phone. Sorry, the truth sometimes kinda hurt. You have to lead by examples and cannot have double standards. And do it in the name of health, not weight or image.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by NHRATA01 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:21 pm

I like reading this thread because my middle one is 10.5 and also large for his age, always has been. Likewise he does TKD 2-3x per week which he started 3 years ago and will be at black belt in a year, but is losing interest. His older sister (12) and younger brother (7) are both in too and enjoying it. Older one does softball, younger just started baseball. All 3 are basically fed the same foods, if anything we try to restrict him without being obvious, and he's the only one who carries significant heft. Wife and I are both in fairly good shape for 40. So I sympathize with the difficulties of how mother nature has different individuals easily add or lose weight.

Like yours, my middle son is not very athletic and the added weight doesn't help. Even more unfortunately he was limited this year for 6 months with a broken leg which only set back his cardio capacity farther so he tires quickly. He tried baseball years ago but no interest - he's really not into the team sports. TKD was a good fit but like I said he's losing interest, partly because of the increased physical requirements (sparring and such) at the higher levels. I tried to test his interest in BJJ or even an introductory wrestling class but he said no there too.

I'm a long time avid powerlifter, and he somewhat seems at least a little interested in that because he sees how much I enjoy it and the benefits of having strength. He has a build for it - yes he is 99% for weight but also up their in height and carries it reasonably well due to his frame. Wife's family are large build people, he is very similar in build to my brother-in-law at that age and he ended up 6'3 270+. So he may take to weightlifting as I did fairly young. One need not be athletic to be a good weightlifter (the pinnacle of my high school athletic career was getting cut from JV baseball and spending a few years as a 4th string linebacker), all that matters is the diligence and determination to put in the work. It is also great for building a child's (or anyone's really) confidence after seeing themselves be able to do more weight and more reps.

So I would very strongly say no, he is not too young at 11 to begin lifting. Ignore the old tales about stunting growth as they've long been proven false. Doing a functional movement such as a squat or deadlift at 11 years old with no weight is perfectly acceptable and in fact what the human body was designed for - thus why would loading a barbell with a few pounds suddenly make it much more dangerous? The key as mentioned is finding someone to coach him in the movements and this is where I wish I could be of more help. I am fortunate to be able to eventually coach my son reasonably capably as I've lifted for 25 years and done a lot wrong and a few things right. But I wouldn't know where to find a youth weightlifting coach. The personal trainer at your local big box gym more often than not lacks the knowledge of instructing on compound lifts, nor will many take a client under 16 or 18. Perhaps searching for an Olympic lifting, Starting Strength or Powerlifting centric gym in your area might be the best place to start and then call to inquire about starting an 11 year old?

Wilderness Librarian
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:24 pm

A point others have not mentioned: he probably feels uncomfortable with having people watch him do things and that might go beyond weight concerns. I am slim and was never interested in participating in organized sports /gym activities / competitive group activities/ racing etc. partly because I don't like having people watch me do such things. Nonetheless I enjoy doing physical activity that I can comfortably and safely do by myself. Many have suggested getting him involved in organized group activities of some kind. I would suggest the reverse might be appropriate - focus on things he can do alone in private without other people observing except maybe see him pass by on a bicycle or similar situation lasting only a few seconds.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by NHRATA01 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:26 pm

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:17 pm
totallystudly wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:49 pm

My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight
.

Look, if you guys don't want to workout, why should you kid do it? You want him to do something and have an interest in something you guys clearly don't have yourselves. Where do you think he got the model for being overweight from...

You aren't just "athletic" by default. Nobody is "naturally sporty" You have to work at it. You guys aren't athletic because you don't do athletic things, not the other way around. Gotta lift and do cardio. People don't just wake up and run a 10 second hundred yard dash, they train for it. I didn't wake up one day and bench press 400 pounds, I trained for it.
This! Reminds me of the parents who complain about their kids’ screen time but they spend hours on their phone. Sorry, the truth sometimes kinda hurt. You have to lead by examples and cannot have double standards. And do it in the name of health, not weight or image.
I do not find it necessary to be as blunt as the previous two replies, but perhaps taking my post one step further, might it be a good idea for the 3 of you to do this together? If he sees both parents starting as novices, he may be less intimidated.

blackwhisker
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by blackwhisker » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:33 pm

My kid has a couple of friends that are not into sports. They still enjoy playing nerf guns and water guns when they come over for play dates. They usually end up running a lot when they play nerf (with eye protection) or water guns.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:45 pm

Wilderness Librarian wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:24 pm
A point others have not mentioned: he probably feels uncomfortable with having people watch him do things and that might go beyond weight concerns. I am slim and was never interested in participating in organized sports /gym activities / competitive group activities/ racing etc. partly because I don't like having people watch me do such things. Nonetheless I enjoy doing physical activity that I can comfortably and safely do by myself. Many have suggested getting him involved in organized group activities of some kind. I would suggest the reverse might be appropriate - focus on things he can do alone in private without other people observing except maybe see him pass by on a bicycle or similar situation lasting only a few seconds.
+1

Our son was not particularly athletic but he very much enjoyed ripsticking, skateboarding, and longboarding starting at age 9 or 10 (IIRC) and lasting almost up until college. However, he preferred to do those alone--and at some point while listening to music via earbuds. He would almost always wait until after dark to board on our driveway (90 yards of usable length for him--we set a mandatory end point well before the street for him). He never admitted that he didn't want to be seen, but it was pretty obvious to us. He didn't react negatively when the neighbors commented that they had seen him at night, but we remained convinced that he boarded only in the dark because he wanted "privacy."

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veindoc
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by veindoc » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:53 pm

NHRATA01 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:26 pm
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:17 pm
totallystudly wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:49 pm

My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight
.

Look, if you guys don't want to workout, why should you kid do it? You want him to do something and have an interest in something you guys clearly don't have yourselves. Where do you think he got the model for being overweight from...

You aren't just "athletic" by default. Nobody is "naturally sporty" You have to work at it. You guys aren't athletic because you don't do athletic things, not the other way around. Gotta lift and do cardio. People don't just wake up and run a 10 second hundred yard dash, they train for it. I didn't wake up one day and bench press 400 pounds, I trained for it.
This! Reminds me of the parents who complain about their kids’ screen time but they spend hours on their phone. Sorry, the truth sometimes kinda hurt. You have to lead by examples and cannot have double standards. And do it in the name of health, not weight or image.
I do not find it necessary to be as blunt as the previous two replies, but perhaps taking my post one step further, might it be a good idea for the 3 of you to do this together? If he sees both parents starting as novices, he may be less intimidated.
Hence the family hikes every Sunday before church for an hour. When the weather gets cooler, we go ice skating. In the summer I took them swimming weekly. And I’m not a good skater. None of us are but we do like it. I’m probably a slight step up from my son in ability. Truth be told we are not a sporty family. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I have friends that ski every weekend in the winter. I learned to ski at age 33 and found it terrifying. I’m a terrible biker and am not a confident swimmer. My husband is a little more skillful than I am but he is not an outdoorsy guy either. Only thing I like to do is run. And I’ve taken my son with me but not without a lot of protest.

BUT we are not overweight. My husband and other two kids are lanky. I’m more curvy but my BMI is 23.

Someone had asked about my sons BMI. It’s 24, putting him in the obese category. He is 60 inches and 124 pounds.

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telemark
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by telemark » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:56 pm

Some more or less random thoughts in the hope that perhaps one will be useful:

With proper coaching, 11 is not too young to start lifting weights. On the other hand, you can ruin your body at any age lifting with bad form.

Where I live, and in some other parts of the country, youth ballroom formation teams are becoming popular. If you happen to live in one of those areas, boys are always in demand.

After rereading Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg about a year ago, I started teaching myself to juggle. It's not an intense workout but it does get the blood moving and keeps you on your feet. I recommend using hackey sacks: they're easy to grip and they don't roll away and hide under things when you drop them (well, not as much).

Coordination is not something that just happens, but a skill that can either be developed with practice or neglected. Motivation is the key here: you have to be willing to keep trying until finally something clicks. But motivation is the key to everything here: if you want to do something, you will find a way to do it, otherwise you will find a way not to do it. The only advice I have there is to keep looking until you find something you (or he) wants to do.

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veindoc
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by veindoc » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:04 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:58 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:12 pm
Your list is primarily group activities. If he doesn't like sports, having to do them with others may be even worse.

Walk lots. Walk to get places, walk to the park, walk for fun (frisbee golf, hike), walk to clear his head.

Some limited body weight exercises. Start with 20 situps and 20 pushups a day. They can be one or two at a time if that is what it takes to start a lifelong habit.
+1

What is he doing all day now? Certainly he isn't spending all of his time sitting on the floor drawing? If it is nearly all sedentary activities, make him do something else instead.

You seem far too focused on group activities to hold both of you "accountable." He does not need to be on the swim team for swimming to be a good activity for him, for example. As I kid I loved swimming, but I would have hated to have been on a swim team.

Just get him moving doing something--anything at this point. Start small with activities he enjoys (or might enjoy) rather than forcing him to participate for hours or daily in something he hates. If he is overweight now, almost any physical activity is going to be unpleasant for him at the start. Get there gradually, not by overdoing it. Good luck!
During the week now that school has started, it’s science club, newspaper club, Lego league and taekwondo. When he is done with HW, he reads, draws, plays legos or makes stop motion films.
When the weather is nice like now I send him out to ride around in his scooter. Most times I find him watching his brothers ride their scooters. He finally learned to ride a bike this summer. When the weather is bad, he does nothing, which is why I’d like to get him involved in an activity outside the home.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by FoolMeOnce » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:11 pm

One fun activity is if there are "ninja" gyms in your location. Some have opened near me, based on the things you see in American Ninja Warrior - basically fitness related obstacle courses. A fun way to exercise, build endurance, strength, and balance. Ones near me have classes for kids even younger than your son (and are great places for birthday parties).

7eight9
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by 7eight9 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:23 pm

When I was a kid I was overweight. Always last to be picked in gym. Always the goalie - didn't have to run and took up more of the goal. Never participated in any sports outside of mandatory gym class. Started hanging around my neighbor's stable in the eighth grade. Really enjoyed working with horses. Pretty much spent every afternoon and part of the weekend doing something there. Fast forward to the end of high school. Was 5'8" 118 pounds (17.9 BMI - 5th percentile). I pretty much went from probably somewhere near the top of the scale to pretty close to the bottom in terms of BMI. Horses might just be the answer.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

FrugalConservative
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by FrugalConservative » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:50 pm

Lots of great ideas here.

For what it's worth. I started lifting in 5th grade when my parents bought me a simple workout set. Free weights which I could add to dumbells and barbells. Bench and bar. I was average height but very skinny, I was fortunate with good genetics that my body took well to weights.

25 years later, I am still lifting weights. It stuck with me and allows me to continue living a health lifestyle.

When my boys reach 5th grade, I will introduce them to weightlifting. They currently love monkey bars and pullups, situps and pushups. Im fortunate. Bit of a humblebrag, but my 1st grader can do 10 real pullups, ha.

But like another said. If YOU arent into it. If they dont see YOU being physically active, it is statically proven that they in turn will not be physically active as adults.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Bronko » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:34 pm

Solid answers already. Obviously diet and movement. Part of it is just growing and hormones.

I'd strongly recommend a book series called "The Warrior Kid" by Jocko Willink. 3 books so far about a kid without direction who's military uncle comes into his life and gives him direction in all aspects. Very appropriate for his age.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Jiu Jitsu / BJJ: Totally different than other martial arts. This will incorporate much more hands on work than striking arts. His size could be a benefit, yet he would definitely get a workout. I've seen many kids who didn't care much for other organized sports absolutely flourish in this activity. Most schools will give you a free week. Look around and try a couple.

Positive reinforcement and realizing it will take time to become strong is essential.

You are obviously trying since you're here looking for ideas, don't get frustrated just keep trying.
Never let a little bit of money get in the way of a real good time.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by IMO » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:37 pm

veindoc wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:29 pm
Thanks for all your replies!

Nice to hear there are other non-athletes in the group.

I didn’t want to focus on diet because I didn’t want to get the thread locked. Diet was the first thing we changed. This has been a two year battle. No juice boxes, no processed snacks, no let’s hit Dunkin Donuts and grab a donut on the way home. I pack his school lunches and froze his spending account so he couldn’t grab a bag of Cheetos. He eats 5 helpings of vegetables a day-not fruit , vegetables. This summer we went out for ice cream three times and three times only. And this only because my three kids have summer birthdays. Yet he continues to gain weight.

We started the taekwondo twice a week religiously two years ago. Brothers joined it too and he continued to gain weight.

We started the family hikes weekly last year , roller skating on weekends as a family and he continues to gain weight.

I know it’s portion control (He can out-eat my husband) and lack of activity. He’s been like this since he is a kid.
He always ate more than other kids and moved less. Kids would hit the playground up and down the monkey bars and slides-my son chose the swing or sandbox.

Siblings and cousins are jumping up and down on my couches and climbing my bookshelves. My son is on the floor drawing or playing with the nonambulatory toddlers.

So my goal is to get him to move. I like the pedometer idea and goal setting. He’s not dumb. He knows he’s overweight because people keep telling him he is. Grandparents, other kids etc.

I would like something organized to keep him
(and me) accountable. Dancing is a great idea because he does like to dance. I will look into bowling as well. He is actually very strong. Is weight lifting safe for an 11 year old?
When I was in elementary school, I was a fat kid in the days when being a fat kid was not socially acceptable. People didn't jump to one's defense and say "don't fat shame" like they do now. Okay, now I'll be politically correct and use overweight/obese (even though it's much more typing than my politically incorrect "fat") in the discussion. But my history is important as it gives some background/insight into the post/questions. Also parents were healthcare and well educated and they were not particularly active (but they weren't overweight).

1. Overweight/Obese kids eat way too big portions and they find hidden ways to get more food. Just like the massively morbid obese individuals that can't leave their home due to their size, they find ways to get the extra food. Remember that. You need to go hard core to remove the ability to get excessive food. It could be the kid is chugging down 1/2 of the milk carton, etc. As you note, continually gaining weight no matter if one is exercising is having access to excess food, period. Again, ask me why I know.

2. There are overweight/obese Active kids and there are overweight/obese NON-Active kids. This is a big distinction. 1st goal in life is to get them to be active even if they are overweight/obese.

But here's where it gets difficult. Put the obese/overweight kid in with kids in better shape and there can be problems. One of which is there will always be "excuses" on completing the activity. We personally see this coaching middle school kids, when they can't do the activity. How do you "argue" they don't have a headache? Another problem is they may be embarrassed. Honestly, nowadays, I don't know if kids are embarrassed or not about the actual physical aspects of being overweight/obese (but I do suspect many are) vs. taking part in activities where they are not "competitive" because they are hampered by being overweight/obese.

I'd recommend finding something fun that takes significant energy but isn't so competitive. Nowadays in most areas of the country, I good start would be some type of trampoline park. It's fun, it's a workout and it's not competitive. Then continue to find other activities to supplement something like that that's also fun. In other words, find multiple activities to keep the interest going. Now hopefully you're getting to goal number one, an active yet overeight/obese kid.

3. I think to get an active overweight/obese to the next level involves some aerobic activity/sport. Personally, some thing like mountain biking is great. Problem, if the parents don't do that it's hard to find that activity. But road biking or safer riding on paved trails is a good option. But without aerobic activity, you tend to keep the kid at the level of being active but overweight/obese.

4. Parents are part of the problem. As I noted, first because the are oblivious to the hidden food eating. Most parents are overweight/obese so nowadays there's not much great modeling going on. My advice, put your money where your mouth is as a parent. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Be active also. I didn't have parents that did that, but seems like a poor excuse as a current parent to not be part of the solution by modeling active lifestyles.

As people have mentioned, you CANNOT exercise your way out of being overweight/obesity. However, for the vast majority of people, failing to have exercise as a regular part of life only increases the likelihood of one having an sedentary overweight/obese lifestyle one's entire life. And typically, once you're an obese/overweight kid, you now likely has a lifetime struggle to try to maintain a reasonable weight, even if you remain physically active.

My spouse and I did have the discussion recently, maybe society needs to stop being so politically correct. Maybe some aspects of "fat shaming" are necessary so that the country doesn't continue to have a further explosion in the number of very young Type 2 diabetics, etc. It shouldn't be seen as so acceptable. There are real issues with being obese, just a fact of life.

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Summit111
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Summit111 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:01 pm

Elementary and middle school track and cross country coach here...I have 30 years of coaching experience in the middle and elementary schools as a volunteer....

The majority of overweight kids I’ve coached were a product of poor eating habits...too much junk food and just too much food in general. Their parents would sit in cars or in the bleachers and watched, and most of them were in poor condition too.

I’ve had success in turning around many of them by having parents change their diet...Exercise can’t do it alone, proper diets are integral...

My wife and I have followed lifelong exercise and proper diet regimes as well our kids...We, along with our kids and grandkids, have healthy weights....

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Smoke » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:24 pm

It has to be something he enjoys or it will be doomed to failure.
I always hated team sports, although I was on teams I played as an individual, Track, Tennis, Discus.
My parents would not allow football or wrestling.

Perhaps try as a starter Ping Pong ? With others on the same level at first.
So It's more fun than competitive. As time and skill increase playing better players makes you better.
I can say I spent countless hours playing as a kid built up quite a sweat. As a kid Ping Pong was my addiction.
Which eventually led to tennis.
I was never over weight as a youth though, so I can't speak to that.
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

Leemiller
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Leemiller » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:31 pm

My daughter and I are taking horseback riding together. It is fun and definitely a workout for your lower body in particular. For example, “posting” involves lifting your body up and down as the horse moves. Might be a nice thing to do together. Fencing is another sport I’d recommend for someone who is more into individual vs team sports.

theplayer11
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by theplayer11 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:42 pm

Summit111 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:01 pm
Elementary and middle school track and cross country coach here...I have 30 years of coaching experience in the middle and elementary schools as a volunteer....

The majority of overweight kids I’ve coached were a product of poor eating habits...too much junk food and just too much food in general. Their parents would sit in cars or in the bleachers and watched, and most of them were in poor condition too.

I’ve had success in turning around many of them by having parents change their diet...Exercise can’t do it alone, proper diets are integral...

My wife and I have followed lifelong exercise and proper diet regimes as well our kids...We, along with our kids and grandkids, have healthy weights....

Summit
great...good for you, not sure how that helps though

jaj2276
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:47 pm

Not sure how much you can get him to do when you admit yourself that you don't do much. Kids tend to take their cues from their parents.

With that said, I would suggest getting a dog, an active one at that (labrador) and take nightly walks (after dinner and before bedtime). A 2-mile walk will take about 30 mins and I guarantee you will see results. Also the dog will be happy as it will get daily exercise.

GmanJeff
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:58 pm

1. Boy Scouts. Hiking, high adventure, and other physical activities which promote fitness and health, along with leadership training and the acquisition of other life skills like cooking, first aid, cooperation with a group, and so on.
2. Alternative martial arts which either complement or replace the Korean karate he is pursuing now. Krav Maga, for example, places a strong emphasis on fitness as well as on skills, and is not at all competitive - there are no competitions; it's strictly the application of practical and effective self defense techniques which build confidence and improve one's ability to cope with situations where one may be obliged to engage in unarmed defense. Tai Chi is not at all competitive, either, and while not overtly high intensity does involve some exertion.
3. Golf, especially if you can install an indoor golf simulator or can go regularly to a driving range. Repeated swinging of a golf club can burn off a lot of calories, and golf can be a social activity which can be pursued throughout life, promoting the formation of personal and business relationships, and which can be undertaken in a casual way as well as more competitively.
4. Bicycling, especially if you have access to bike trails where there is little risk from motorized vehicles.
6. Consider a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or similar fitness tracker which encourages and tracks activity. Some apps (.e.g. MapMyWalk) provide challenges and rewards for walking and other activities.
Last edited by GmanJeff on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Summit111
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Summit111 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:06 pm

Elementary and middle school track and cross country coach here...I have 30 years of coaching experience in the middle and elementary schools as a volunteer....

The majority of overweight kids I’ve coached were a product of poor eating habits...too much junk food and just too much food in general. Their parents would sit in cars or in the bleachers and watched, and most of them were in poor condition too.

I’ve had success in turning around many of them by having parents change their diet...Exercise can’t do it alone, proper diets are integral...

My wife and I have followed lifelong exercise and proper diet regimes as well our kids...We, along with our kids and grandkids, have healthy weights....

Summit

great...good for you, not sure how that helps though
It helps if the parents give guidance on diet and exercise to their children....you obviously didn’t read the thread...Childhood obesity is out of control....

You have any guidance?

Summit
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Smoke » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:47 pm

veindoc wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:38 am
Also please no comments on “exercising as a family.[/b]” My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight.

OP is "Looking for suggestions on organized physical activities for a non-athletic non-competitive 11 year old."

All people/kids are different, perhaps metabolism, the family seems just fine, so family diet or exercise is not the issue as a family.

It's easy to point fingers at the Parents if their child doesn't fit the norm, not always accurate though.

I applaud the OP for looking for solutions, and shake my head at those suggesting mental issues, Parental issues.

I already posted my suggestion btw.
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

Hug401k
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Hug401k » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:11 pm

I have a 11 yr old boy that is the opposite. He must be active ALL OF THE TIME. I spend a lot of time trying to keep him active without actually playing another flipping sport. And while he is underweight and eats whatever, his sister is not, she has to pay attention to what she eats. So I understand that "Same family, same dinner, different results" problem.

Walking is fine, but he needs a buddy and a purpose. You may need to make up reasons, like returning a dish to a neighbor or mailing something. If there is a dog to walk, put him in charge. Maybe he can start his first little business walking someone else's dog if you don't have one. Bike riding with friends to go somewhere is still exciting at that age. My son likes to bike to a local playground.

Boy Scouts might work well. Our local cross fit gym has a kids program. I like geocaching and pokemon go as ideas. We also do the active Wii video games (no sitting allowed) in the winter. Dance Dance Revolution can really cause a sweat. He likes to shoot baskets on his outdoor net or play horse with me (his mother- guaranteed win for him). He likes to sled in the winter, and play indoor nerf basketball over the door in the winter. Summer- Nerf guns outside or water balloons always make kids tired. Maybe a trampoline or a zip line?

We have a wooded lot near us, my son and his buddies made forts and moved branches etc. It's not great but it's something.

Finally, Bogleheads is almost the worst place to ask for diet and health advice. There are a lot of older folks who walked up hill both ways to school, if you know what I mean. Their advice is things like "tell the kid not to eat." I'm sure there are entire forums dedicated to this topic.

Finally, 11 yr old boys haven't hit their growth peak yet. Girls are right in it, but boys are a bit later so growing should happen! Good luck!

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by gmc4h232 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:31 pm

Cut people’s grass with push mower for money in summer. Cut firewood for money in winter. Lose weight and get rich.

CheCha54
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by CheCha54 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:51 pm

As mentioned earlier Golf is a great game/sport that requires many miles logged walking and carrying a bag. If he likes that and becomes "known" as a golfer it could increase his confidence in other activities. When my son became competitive in golf we mixed in running and weights in his training. The point is he had a reason to do these things. He's in his late thirties and plays competitive amateur golf today. Game of a lifetime.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by JBTX » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:04 pm

veindoc wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:53 pm
NHRATA01 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:26 pm
MiddleOfTheRoad wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:17 pm
totallystudly wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:49 pm

My husband and I are not particularly athletic either and the most “sport” we do is weekly hikes through our town trails. Other than my oldest we are all normal weight and some are underweight
.

Look, if you guys don't want to workout, why should you kid do it? You want him to do something and have an interest in something you guys clearly don't have yourselves. Where do you think he got the model for being overweight from...

You aren't just "athletic" by default. Nobody is "naturally sporty" You have to work at it. You guys aren't athletic because you don't do athletic things, not the other way around. Gotta lift and do cardio. People don't just wake up and run a 10 second hundred yard dash, they train for it. I didn't wake up one day and bench press 400 pounds, I trained for it.
This! Reminds me of the parents who complain about their kids’ screen time but they spend hours on their phone. Sorry, the truth sometimes kinda hurt. You have to lead by examples and cannot have double standards. And do it in the name of health, not weight or image.
I do not find it necessary to be as blunt as the previous two replies, but perhaps taking my post one step further, might it be a good idea for the 3 of you to do this together? If he sees both parents starting as novices, he may be less intimidated.
Hence the family hikes every Sunday before church for an hour. When the weather gets cooler, we go ice skating. In the summer I took them swimming weekly. And I’m not a good skater. None of us are but we do like it. I’m probably a slight step up from my son in ability. Truth be told we are not a sporty family. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I have friends that ski every weekend in the winter. I learned to ski at age 33 and found it terrifying. I’m a terrible biker and am not a confident swimmer. My husband is a little more skillful than I am but he is not an outdoorsy guy either. Only thing I like to do is run. And I’ve taken my son with me but not without a lot of protest.

BUT we are not overweight. My husband and other two kids are lanky. I’m more curvy but my BMI is 23.

Someone had asked about my sons BMI. It’s 24, putting him in the obese category. He is 60 inches and 124 pounds.
Ignore the judgmental and preachy posts. They always seem to have have their say. There is a lot of other good advice in here. It's quite clear that you are an active family that otherwise doesn't have these issues. Some kids are just different. We have a ASD spectrum kid with similar issues. Not active and not terribly coordinated.

For a while I'd go to school and walk home with my kid, but he hated that. Now with his new school that isn't as practical.

5 ft and 124 doesn't seem THAT bad, depending on his body type.

Keep looking for something he enjoys and something he will stick with.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Tyler Aspect » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:08 pm

Precor Eliptical Trainers could be good. The entry level model should be sufficient. That was the best buy of our house.
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by randomguy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:13 pm

CheCha54 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:51 pm
As mentioned earlier Golf is a great game/sport that requires many miles logged walking and carrying a bag. If he likes that and becomes "known" as a golfer it could increase his confidence in other activities. When my son became competitive in golf we mixed in running and weights in his training. The point is he had a reason to do these things. He's in his late thirties and plays competitive amateur golf today. Game of a lifetime.
Problem is that it requires a lot of coordination. May or may not be a good fit.

In the end it is all about finding something the kid will do and can do. It is easy to say running, rock climbing, dancing, tennis,skiing and a zillion other activites are great exercise. Getting the kid to do it is another thing.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by ram » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:52 pm

I never use elevators.
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CFM300
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by CFM300 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:20 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:04 pm
veindoc wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:53 pm
Someone had asked about my sons BMI. It’s 24, putting him in the obese category. He is 60 inches and 124 pounds.
5 ft and 124 doesn't seem THAT bad, depending on his body type.
In kids, obesity classifications vary by age. Go here and scroll down to see the graph:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/bmi/r ... 60&twp=124

anhonymous
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by anhonymous » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:27 pm

You have got some good suggestions already. Somewhat different thought- you may want to check on the Wii games especially fitness oriented games. There is a lot of moving and swinging and also the gamification helps to remain motivated . Full transparency I have only seen this work for the older people but don’t see why this cannot be just one component of his exercise regime.. good luck and great work on your part to look for suggestions...

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:45 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:04 pm
You mention that he is eating healthy foods but just too much of it. Why are you cooking too much food for him?
Op said he is eating 5 vegetables a day. However if also eatting starchy fat laden foods he veggies will not help. Large servings of protein don’t help either.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:47 pm

Being physically active is part of being fit and healthy. Being fit and healthy effects every part of a person's life and future.

To that end for a preteen -

1. Boy /Girl Scouts lots of weekly and monthly activities.

2. Playing a musical instrument especially if it involves marching band.

3. Martial Arts - a fantastic activity for any young person that conditions mind and body and teaches self control. Try out multiple forms to find something they like a lot and will want to go do 4-5 times a week. Most good schools allow a few demo sessions. Lots of styles and schools for them to try - Judo, Karate, Wing Chun, Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Aikido - all are intense high activity sports. Our youngest was a supposedly clumsy non athletic bookish kid. He got into Taekwondo at about 10yo and ended up with a black belt at 17, and competed in Nationals at age 16.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:56 pm

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:58 pm

I would suggest you don’t take our advice on this topic. People are just going to repeat what works for them, which isn’t helpful. Besides, I doubt a group photo of bogleheads members would be mistaken for a modeling competition.

I’d ignore BMI. It’s an aggregate measure, not at all useful at the individual level.

squirm
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by squirm » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:02 pm

Whatever happened to riding a bike around and doing chores around the house? I have our kids help with chores, cutting/splitting/stacking firewood, mowing, pulling weeds, etc etc.

We also don't allow our kids to have any video games, phones, etc.
Last edited by squirm on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by InMyDreams » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:14 pm

veindoc wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:38 am
We went horseback riding on vacation one summer and he enjoyed that. But is that really a workout?
Is weight lifting too early for an 11 year old?
We’ve looked at swimming but he can’t make it all the way across the pool which is a requirement for a swim team. Private lessons are super hard to come by and I have been on a waitlist for a year. Group lessons are 30 mins each with 4 kids so each kid gets 5-10 mins tops.
We tried a running club but he walked most of the time but never caught the bug.
Tried golf and he was decent at it but not sure it provided the cardio workout I would like him to have. That and it was boring.
Anytime spent away from a screen and out of a chair is an improvement!
Pool walking is fine.

You haven't mentioned his current preferred ways to spend his time?

Does he recognize a problem? If he's not pulling for the change, not sure how much success you will have.

Someone else has mentioned a FitBit. David Sedaris adopted one several years ago, and it changed his life.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014 ... ping-out-3

There's also some studies about traffic light eating system. But you probably know about that.

Best wishes to you and your son.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by usagi » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:04 am

Since he does martial arts and tolerates it...

Advertise for a private instructor on Craigslist or whatever. The key is you are looking for a traditional martial arts instructor. Likely if you phrase it correctly you may get a few hits. Most likely the compensation they will ask for is an exchange in services. I.e. mow my lawn each week and wash the car in exchange for lessons. You could also look at various martial art schools and find someone looking for a private student.

With essentially one on one instruction from a traditional instructor things won't be boring nor will they be easy. In traditional martial arts you compete only with yourself, the struggle is an internal one. It will be the instructor's duty to get into your son's head and mold him into the best man he can be. Ultimately your son will learn to persevere, in all things. That is the lesson of martial arts. It is a crucible you forge the mind and boy in by applying effort. Once that is mastered, it applies to school, professions, relationships...little in life cannot be overcome by determination, practice, and perseverance.

Here is what I always told my students. Martial arts is a gift we give to ourselves. We may not always like it, it can be a painful tool, but it is one thing no one can ever take from you. When you are an adult you may lose your job, your wife can leave you, your dog may die, your children will grow and leave the nest, but the one solid thing, the one thing that can always remain for the rest of your life is your practice of martial arts. It something no one can ever take from you. It is there for life. I say this as someone who has practiced for some 49 years now.

If you can find someone who teaches Bojutsu and kobujutsu it may hold your son's interest more.

NanaKorobiYaOki

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by Strayshot » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:56 am

The best exercise is the kind you like and can stick with, I applaud that you continue to try and find that for your son.

If he might like weightlifting, go for it! I hate cardio except for cycling and love weights, and having more muscle burns more calories, so might help balance things out if the eating is not well controlled. If you do a vigorous weight session (supersetting, etc) you will get your heart rate into cardio territory anyways.

I don’t know that swimming was mentioned, but if he is already heavy sometimes swimming is a good gateway because you don’t feel as fat and uncoordinated in the water. I swam competitively when I was young, now I barely ever get in the pool.

I hated taekwondo because it was boring and I never cared for the “mental” aspect. I loved boxing and kickboxing. Find a school where he can spar frequently instead of wasting time doing katas and stuff. Sparring was the best workout ever. Be aware that injuries will happen.

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JoMoney
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by JoMoney » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:12 am

Walking... Golf, Frisbee-Golf, take a dog to the park...
Start a routine that does something every morning. Doesn't have to be much, but something... 5 minutes of jump rope.. try to grow from there.

I know you said you don't want diet suggestions but it's the biggest factor in weight.
Just living requires about 2000-2500 calories a day.
You need a 3500 calorie deficit to burn a pound of fat.
Running a mile burns between 100-200 calories. That's less than a large soda.
If the goal is to burn fat, you have to get comfortable with the idea of being hungry, not acting on it, and letting the body use its reserves.
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by forgeblast » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:12 am

This has worked for me, might work for him.
We watched forks over knives and made a switch to whole food plant based with very little oil. My daughter helps us cook and gets to pick a meal a week to prep/plan.
I also for the winter bought a 100.00 spin bike off facebook marketplace. So many you tube videos its easy to ride and watch them.
Once I strengthen my legs and brought my stamina up I started jogging/running.
What I like about indoor bike is that no one can watch you fail, or be worn out, but you need the drive to ride every other day.
A book that I love and that helped me set goals and gave me a ton of motivation is David Groggins Cant hurt me (language is strong in there, but its honest). He has ways to set goals, how to reward yourself and how to get out of your own head.
I teach, and see school lunches. The first year I taught I had to eat school lunches because they were free and we were paid once a month. I gained 20 lbs. If you can avoid school lunches, pack your own it will help too.
All the best.
My daughter will be 11 this year, and I saw there are parent and kid (separate rooms) cross fit near us that we may do for the winter. The winters here are long and it makes it so much more difficult to be active year long.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by abuss368 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:17 am

I think it is a larger issue with today's youth. It is tough raising kids! We have one child who is intense and plays four sports at a high and competitive level. Our second was playing baseball but did not enjoy it. We discovered at 7 years old (now 12) there was a love for golf. Recently we also discovered a love for working out so I train him for 3 workouts 20 minutes a week. I had trained and competed at a high level in power lifting when younger so our child is seeing accelerated gains. As a result we are happy with the better physical shape, and noticeable additional confidence in life and school. Night and day difference from 6-7 months ago.

Try different things until you discover the one that is for them and sticks!
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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by IMhooked » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:28 am

Look at Calorie intake and the type of calories (energy in).

Track a baseline of his movement currently with a tool like FitBit, Applewatch, etc. Lends itself well to gamify things using this tool.

As mentioned previously, it isn't about an organized sporty activity per say, just general human movement and diet.

Finally, be the change you'd like to see in the world so to speak and come together with him on this journey and strive to be more active and healthy together. Take walks, explore, seek adventure and beauty, stretch, get out of the house and simply move!

Make periodic checks and reflections on each day. This will help focus attention on how you physically feel! Intrinsically rewarding to feel good. That comes from a healthy lifestyle.

The organized and typical sports people are in are fine, BUT can throw in more social and self-concept issues to sort through along the way. The simple approach might be more long term and frankly easier to maintain over a lifetime!

Best of luck!

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by TN_Boy » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:48 am

randomguy wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:13 pm
CheCha54 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:51 pm
As mentioned earlier Golf is a great game/sport that requires many miles logged walking and carrying a bag. If he likes that and becomes "known" as a golfer it could increase his confidence in other activities. When my son became competitive in golf we mixed in running and weights in his training. The point is he had a reason to do these things. He's in his late thirties and plays competitive amateur golf today. Game of a lifetime.
Problem is that it requires a lot of coordination. May or may not be a good fit.

In the end it is all about finding something the kid will do and can do. It is easy to say running, rock climbing, dancing, tennis,skiing and a zillion other activites are great exercise. Getting the kid to do it is another thing.
Golf requires some coordination for sure, but OP already said he was "decent" at it when he tried it. Whatever decent means. But the OP also said it was boring, and I wasn't clear on whether the OP or the child thought that! If the kid doesn't like it, he won't do it.

Someone starting at age 11 who liked the game would almost surely (get some golf lessons) be able to get good enough to enjoy it. No way to tell if he has the athletic ability to generate enough clubhead speed to be really good, but who cares. If it is something he likes and would stick with. He would need to walk and not be driven around in a cart when playing (maybe start playing only 9 holes ...).

A good thing about golf is that the extra weight would probably hinder him less in this sport than it would in some others.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:49 am

I wanted to third or fourth the suggestions for strength training. I was an active but unathletic kid, and from what I remember about middle school, one of the frustrating things was that so many kids had what seemed like lots more natural athletic talent. Whether they were talented or not I can't say, as I had almost no exposure to sports as a kid, but they were certainly more coordinated and skilled. And eleven is an awkward age where one notices and compares oneself with classmates.

In any case, in high school I had a lifting segment in PE, run by our football coach. We started by finding our weight on a chart and trying to bench what the corresponding column recommended. I managed three. Then we did six weeks of strength training, and retested. I did eighteen. The coach was very enthusiastic and I think these days, with more women lifting, I'd have been encouraged to start serious training. As it was, I just learned that I could be fit and strong, and that one could measure incremental improvement. I've never become an elite athlete, because the nerd genetics run deep, but I've been strong enough to stay active and lean into what I have to admit is middle age. ☺️

You'll want some guidance at eleven. Lifting at young ages used to be not recommended due to concerns about the growth plate. That's passe now, but it will help to have a coach with good form and instruction. The kid's gym teacher might be a good resource. But strength training and a healthy diet might mean in two years you have a LEGO loving, artistic kid who is a strong gentle giant.

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Re: Physical activity suggestions for a non athletic youth

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:01 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:58 pm
I’d ignore BMI. It’s an aggregate measure, not at all useful at the individual level.
This is an excuse that overweight people use to stay overweight. BMI is useful for just about any person who is not extraordinarily strong. You'll know when it doesn't apply to you.

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