Kids have a lot of energy. Anyone who has worked or lived with one knows what it’s like when you’re full out exhausted and a kid or kids asks what’s next.
In a recent study Birat et al. (2018) compared the fatigue and recovery rates of a group of boys around age 10 to a group of untrained men and a group of men who were high level endurance athletes. Not surprisingly the boys out performed the untrained men but their levels of fatigue and rates of recovery were similar to the endurance athletes.
The authors state that this has implications for sport training in children and youth, indicating that the focus should be on aspects other than endurance. But I wonder about the longitudinal aspects. With the right exercise could adults maintain higher levels of endurance and recovery without having to commit to an elite level training plan? Is it physiological changes that lead to the differences between kids and untrained adults as the authors imply or is it a result of a decrease in activity as we age that creates the changes?
There are many questions to ask coming out of this research, which in my mind is one of the best things about research. It isn’t the answers we find but the questions that make research exciting.