Every year, you can visit a local YMCA and see dozens of kids tumbling, walking across balance beams and pulling off impressive moves on a vault as they participate in gymnastics. In 2017 alone, more than 4.8 million kids aged six and older participated in gymnastics.
Gymnastics is a fun sport for kids of all ages around the world whether kids are rolling around on tumbling mats to balancing on a balance beam. For parents looking for a fun and healthy activity for your child to participate in, gymnastics is a perfect way to go. Here are seven ways your child can benefit physically and mentally from a gymnastics class:
- More self-esteem: Whether you’re playing, basketball or doing gymnastics, you want your child to have fun when they participate. Fortunately, gymnastics are a great way to boost your child’s self-esteem. Learning a new skill on vault, or mastering a routine they’ve been struggling to get gives children a sense of accomplishment and gives them confidence going forward to keep pushing themselves and get even better at gymnastics. It shows them in a real world setting that if they work hard and stick with something, good things can happen and they can learn it without feeling like they’re feeling pressured to succeed. On that note, encourage your child to practice, even if it’s just for a half an hour every day on foam floor mat in their room. After all, practice makes perfect.
- Exercise: One of the greatest benefits of gymnastics classes for kids is that they can get plenty of exercise and work off some energy. The American Heart Association recommends children have at least an hour of physical activity every day and gymnastics is a great way to make sure your child gets that recommended amount of exercise. Besides classes, they can always get a gymnastics pad or a foam floor mat and practice their skills at home (after homework is done of course).
- Discipline: Another great thing about gymnastics is that it’s a great way to teach children discipline. Self-control and discipline are great things to learn early in life and it can help your child focused as they try to learn the finer points of gymnastics.
- Cognitive development: For children who are learning complex gymnastics skills, a well-developed mind is as important as a strong body. Gymnastics allows your child’s brain to develop by having the left brain and right brain to work together. When that happens, a child will develop better spatial and body awareness.
- Bone development: Being a weight-bearing activity, gymnastics is great for developing strong and healthy bones. Strong bones help reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis as they grow up and get into their adult years. As a child grows older, gymnastics can also help prevent broken bones.
- Better coordination: Gymnastics classes for kids can also improve a child’s coordination as they learn proper alignment skills. As they tumble around on a foam floor mat and tumbling mats and other pieces of equipment, they’ll go from being novices in the sport to being able to jump, leap and be more flexible. Learning all of those essential alignment skills will help make your child more coordinated and more agile. Believe it or not, this coordination will help them if they play other sports.
- Flexibility: Having success in gymnastics means having more flexibility. The more flexible your child is, the less he or she will have of getting injured. As with many of the benefits of gymnastics, being flexible can pay off later in life. It can help kids keep proper posture and slow the arrival of potential back and spine issues as they group up.
If you’re looking for a sport to get your child involved in, look no further than gymnastics. Being involved in gymnastics, your child will have better flexibility, improved cognitive development and a lot more self-esteem. Foam floor mats, balance beams, vaults and parallel bars can open up a world of possibilities for your child, where they can have fun, develop good habits and fall in love with gymnastics.