Does chasing your kids leave you panting for breath? That’s because they’re as fit as professional athletes, according to a new study.
Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia and Université Clermont Auvergne in France studied energy use and post-exercise recovery in groups of 8- to 12-year-old boys, trained adult athletes and untrained adults. They had all three groups perform a series of high-intensity physical activities, and found that kids outperformed the adults.
“We found the children used more of their aerobic metabolism and were therefore less tired during the high-intensity physical activities,” study author and exercise physiologist Sébastien Ratel writes in a press release. “They also recovered very quickly — even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes.?.?. This may explain why children seem to have the ability to play and play and play, long after adults have become tired.”
These findings could help parents who want to develop their kids’ athleticism.
“Our study shows that muscle endurance is often very good in children, so it might be better to focus on other areas of fitness such as their sports technique, sprint speed or muscle strength,” Ratel writes. “This may help to optimize physical training in children, so that they perform better and enjoy sports more.”