The parent who states that they think “…gymnastics would probably be good for their child” might be surprised to know just how good it is. With pediatric obesity at an epidemic level of 13% of children and adolescents in the United States, getting children away from the television or computer games and into the gym is a terrific first step toward a healthy lifestyle. The researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report that youth who undertake lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity, reduce the intake of high-caloric foods and involve parents have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity over the long-term. Gymnastics is perhaps one of the most comprehensive “lifestyle exercise programs” available to children, incorporating strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline. Additionally, gymnastics can help children to build a positive self image and can promote high self esteem.
Gymnastics can endow children with great physical benefits. From muscle strength and balance to healthy bones and flexibility, gymnastics provides an exciting option for parents who know the value of a full body workout. Gymnastics can also improve posture, coordination, and helps to build strong and lean muscles.
Great gymnastics clubs (like Mills Gymnastics) that provide stimulating, age-appropriate curriculum and terrific instructors who care about their students, can help children yield other important non-physical benefits from gymnastics. Cognitive, social, and psychosocial benefits might not be as obvious as a toned muscle, but there is no question that they are there. There are a number of non-physical benefits of gymnastics, including:
- Cognitive benefits
- Improved social skills
- Reduced risky behavior