Have you ever wondered why children always seem to have bags of energy and never run out of steam? Researchers have discovered that children have the stamina and levels of recovery of endurance athletes. In fact, scientists say children's muscles recover from "high-intensity exercise" a lot quicker than athletes. A study looked at the performance levels of children when they were cycling, and compared their fitness to that of athletes. Researcher Dr Sebastien Ratel said: "We found 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."
The researchers hope that their findings will help scientists better understand how the human body changes with age. It could lead to advances in the fight against diabetes and other diseases. Dr Ratel said the research was particularly important as more children were becoming less active. He warned: "With the rise in diseases related to physical inactivity, it is helpful to understand the physiological changes with growth that might contribute to the risk of disease." He added that children should maintain their fitness as they grow up and play as much as they could so they remain healthy as adults. He said: "Children seem to have the ability to play and play and play, long after adults have become tired."