It’s Because Scientists Believe Our Children Are As Fit As Endurance Athletes! Yes, you read that title right! So, you’ve asked yourself, your parents, and your grandparents, “Did I really have this much energy as a child? Did mom and dad? Did you?” And then you go on to ask yourself, “How can my children run around all day, nap for twenty minutes, and then stay awake all night without skipping a beat!?” Well, scientists believe that they’ve found an answer to these century-old questions. So, why do children have so much energy, and even as much as an endurance athlete?
Children Have Fatigue-Resistant Muscles
It’s true, children really do have fatigue-resistant muscles, and even more so, their muscles recover more efficiently and more completely after high-intensity exercises. And in some cases, this can happen even faster than the most well trained, capable
professional athlete! Open-access journal, Frontiers in Physiology, just recently published a study that looked at the energy output and the recovery rates of young boys, untrained adults, and endurance athletes after an intensive workout. They found that children are able to recover almost as fast as professional athletes, if not even faster! Sebastien Ratel, Associate Professor in Exercise Physiology from the Universite Clermont Auvergne in France conducted the study, and went on to say that, “our research shows that children have overcome some of these limitations through the development of fatigue-resistant muscles and the ability to recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise.” The other limitations that Ratel is referring to, is the fact that children have limited cardiovascular capabilities, causing them to become exhausted much faster. So, in order to counter these instances, the body has effectively become fatigue-resistant. Although other studies refute Ratel’s initial beliefs in that children tire more quickly than adults.
After conducting the study and viewing the results,… “we found that the children used more of their aerobic metabolism and were therefore less tired during the high-intensity physical activities… they also recovered very quickly – even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes.” These findings are quite striking, considering the fact that professional athletes train for years on end to be able to achieve that level of physical endurance, so when you find that children are innately able to resist fatigue, it
can be quite perturbing! And while more research must certainly be done to determine just how accurate his team’s findings actually are, it is nonetheless an interesting hypothesis. Either way, we may have found an answer that we can attribute to our children’s never-ending level of energy, or we may have at least gained a bit more insight into just how the human body can adapt and compensate for some of its physiological limitations.
Regardless, our children can still almost always outrun us, right?
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