This summer was a fun, and busy, one. We spend most of our time playing wiht our friends, exploring San Diego, and picking up a few new skills.
My son spent one day a week learning a few awesome moves in his gymnastics class. I was impressed and excited to see how quickly he picked up what the teacher showed him. And he had an amazing teacher!
What I wasn't expecting was the reaction I received from others when I told them he was in gymnastics. Now, I'm not talking about my friends or family members, but people I met at the park, or at a restaurant (don't ask me how we got on the subject... the lady sitting next to us was VERY nosy), or at the doctor's office.
While most people would simply say, "Oh, how fun!" others reacted with a distasteful, "Why?!"
Well... why not?
And that's what I'd respond with. Gymnastics is a great way, for boys and girls, to learn the basics of balancing, core strength, motor skills, and flexibility. And I love that my son can now build on these skills as he grows and learns new ones. Not to mention the fact that he was part of a social circle that helped promote physical activity instead of at home on the couch watching cartoons.
|Doing an awesome somersault on his own|
Here are a few ways that gymnastics skills can help aid in healthy development of kids:
Core Strength and Exercise
Exercise and proper training through gymnastics have a positive effect on a child’s cardiopulmonary/cardio respiratory status and bone mineral density, helping to reduce the risk of serious illnesses in adulthood, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It can also reduce the chances of childhood obesity by aiding in body composition and the loss of body fat (the healthy way!).
Motor SkillsGymnastics helps children build a range of motor and coordination skills, and assists in developing a good sense of body awareness.
A young child in gymnastics will learn how to use different parts of their body in difference ways. By participating in gymnastics children have more body awareness, control, and coordination, which can be beneficial to other physical activities, sports, and in everyday life.
FlexibilityStretching exercises help improve flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to bend and move easily through their full range of motion as your children grow. Kids look for opportunities every day to stretch when they try to get a toy just out of reach, take off their shoes, or do a somersault.
By becoming more flexible, children are less likely to get injured while playing and can perform better at certain tasks and sports. Stretching and improving flexibility can also help alleviate growing pains.
Don't have time (or the budget) for gymnastics? You can encourage core strength in your kids through fun games and activities. Take a look at this awesome publication from USAGym I found for a few great ideas! I'll be using a few of them with the kids since my son started preschool and our busy schedule can no long allow for gymnastics classes.
Remember to be a role model for your child. If you are active, your child will be active. So get up, head outside, and start playing!