Are you a parent that thinks . . .”gymnastics would probably be good for my child”? You might be surprised to know just how good it is. With pediatric obesity at an all time high, getting children away from the tv or computer games and into the gym is a wonderful first step towards a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s what researchers at the Centers for Disease Control report: Youth who do lifestyle exercise programs that increase physical activity actually reduce the intake of high calorie foods and they in turn, have the best chance of preventing and reducing obesity long term. Isn’t that interesting? Gymnastics is one of the most “all around” lifestyle exercise programs available for our children. Gymnastics helps with strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline. It’s a package deal for a great lifestyle :)!
Studies show that children learn cognitive skills better in an environment that includes the body AND the mind (Barret, 1998). Here’s the really good news: Gymnastics and early childhood movement education is directly linked to developing neurological pathways in students, which in turn, helps with math and reading readiness. Isn’t that great? And, here is another very large bonus – self esteem! Children who have participated in movement exercises as gymnastics have longer attention spans, better communication skills, general problem solving skills and improved self-esteem!
In a study of school-aged youth, researchers found that the risk of substance abuse by adolescents is lowered by physical training programs such as recreational sports activities including gymnastics and that this is a key to balanced human development (Collingwood, Sunderlin, Reynolds & Kohl, 2000).