Debaters and fitness marketers like to create a polemic just to get clicks, or prey on insecurities to get “asses in classes” (how classy of me, but if you’re offended by this, you might get offended at other truths…). Topics include (and contradict one another): how women should train, women should train like men, why women shouldn’t train like men, etc. Guilty as charged, I too have partaken in shifting perspective with words, only to provide results using an individually specific training approach based on assessments, goals and current abilities, regardless of gender.
As always, I prefer to start at the root (root cause analysis). Start moving early, at a young age, learn the skills then and once you’ve reached the end of your growth as a human being, it’s really maintenance with personal varietal modifications. That’s the message.
But don’t take it from me. Here’s what Hébert has to say in his book on Women’s Physical Education:
The child feels her needs instinctively. Better than any teacher, she knows how to dose her work. Without a doubt, she wonderfully applies the principle of alternating powerful and moderate efforts. She stops when she needs to and sleeps when her body requires rest.
How sad to see so many moms spend their time stunting their children’s natural development, lessening their vitality and deteriorating their bodies by contradicting the need for activity, which amongst children is only the need to live, by restricting or even suppressing its manifestation!
How many congested children, red-faced with swollen cheeks, whose bodies are already overstressed with toxins they can only eliminate through exercise, are pre-destined for arthritis!
The application of the “natural method” doesn’t begin when children sit on school benches, meaning the day we restrict on a large scale their physical activity, by forcing them to sit still for hours.
In order to develop, despite these unfavorable condition, a child must be allowed to produce, for a duration limited by studies, a sufficient amount of varied efforts.
The Natural Method has no other purpose but to ensure this necessary production of efforts and to have children perform, in a controlled fashion, exercises they would instinctively perform, if free to do so.
The application of the method must be followed through the end of developmental growth. The training sessions last about an hour and their frequency varies between three and six times per week. Training gets a particular push for a four-month period, from Spring to middle of Summer.
And that’s why we need to impress upon any government the importance of Physical Education. Considering the relationship between diseases like diabetes and the economy, whether directly or through various connective dots (I am not qualified to politicize), this is no different from starting a savings account early, where accruing dividends over time becomes more taxing on the individual the later they start.