Get Your Child Up to Monkey Business With Gymnastics Classes
Figuring out how to keep your child active in the age of screens can be tough. The TV, computer, tablet, and phone are all powerful lures, and one that parents need to figure out how to combat. Given that only one in three children are physically active daily, and that according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, children between the ages of 6-17 should be partaking in at least an hour of physical activity every day, there’s a serious activity deficit. This is being reflected in ever higher levels of childhood obesity and can have negative effects throughout their lives. Setting the groundwork for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle needs to start early, otherwise bad habits quickly take root and may never be broken. One such sport that your child can start early is gymnastics for kids. If your child watched the young Olympic gymnasts with awe, encourage him or her to give it a try!
Did you know that in 2013, almost 5 million people participated in gymnastics (aged six and up)? Gymnastics is an ancient sport, dating back almost 2,000 years ago, and actually got its start in Spain, where it was used to train soldiers in the arts of balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Gymnastics had its debut in the Olympics just before the turn of the century and has, of course, evolved greatly from its origins. Just this past Olympics, the “Final Five” of the women’s United States Olympic team caught the world’s attention and took home gold. Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas have surely inspired many little girls to try the sport themselves!
How Can Gymnastics Help My Child?
Gymnastics for kids is a great way for them to practice fine motor skills like tumbling, running, throwing, and catching, which the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests are important skills for kids ages two to five to start honing. Luckily, gymnastics for kids can start with exercises and routines for very young children, which gives them a great building block if they want to continue as older children.
You’ll also see your child become stronger and more flexible over the course of his or her gymnastics practice. It really is an all-body workout, from arms, to core, to legs — and there’s some serious mental strength involved too!
Gymnastics for kids can also be a great forum for your child to meet other like-minded children his or her age and make fast friends. Being on a competitive team is great for goal-setting, making friendships, and becoming more resilient.
What’s the Future Like for Gymnasts?
Even if your child doesn’t want to stick with gymnastics classes or go on to a gymnastics academy, their early training will still benefit them later on life. Many dancers and cheerleaders, for example, have a gymnastics background. Indeed, around 98% of cheerleaders were former gymnasts!
The flexibility and strength that’s taught in these classes will help your child in almost any active sport he or she wants to pursue later in life. Children may also find it more intriguing than a sport offered in school, such as soccer, football, track and field, or basketball. If you’re having a difficult time getting your child interested in sports or being active, gymnastics might be an interesting suggestion for them, especially during the excitement of the Olympics.
Though it may not be offered in school, you’ll probably be able to find local gymnastics classes not too far from you if your child shows an interest. If you’re looking for a positive, structured, and nurturing teaching environment for your child to learn gymnastics, come look us up and see how your child can get started.