Physical Fitness in Children

At first glance, we might expect children to tire more quickly than adults when performing certain types of physical activity. Children generally overheat more quickly, burn more calories, and have to take more steps to cover the same distance as adults. Despite these limitations, many parents find that keeping up with the activity level of their children is quite difficult, as children seem to have the ability to play for hours and not get tired.

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology aimed to uncover a physiological reason for why children seem to have such a natural capacity for high-intensity activity. Three different groups were evaluated in the study: children, untrained adults, and well-trained endurance athletes. The groups were put through a series of exercise tests, and various parameters were measured that dealt with energy output, oxygen uptake, and recovery. The results showed that children are just as physically fit as well-trained endurance athletes.1 When considering recovery specifically, children actually had faster rates of oxygen uptake and clearance of lactate (which contributes to fatigue) than well-trained endurance athletes. Both the children and endurance athletes were significantly more resistant to fatigue than untrained adults, and the untrained adults recovered more slowly from high-intensity exercise than the other two groups.1

It’s clear that children are physiologically designed with the capacity for physical fitness. This research adds to the importance of supporting healthy habits in children that they can carry to adulthood. With summer just around the corner, don’t forget to take some time out of your busy schedule, grab your TerraShield® Spray Outdoor Blend, and follow the children’s example to a more active lifestyle.


doTERRA Science blog articles are based on a variety of scientific sources. Many of the referenced studies are preliminary and further research is needed to gain greater understanding of the findings. Some articles offer multiple views on general health topics and are not the official position of doTERRA. Consult your healthcare provider before making changes to diet or exercise.

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