Gymnastics has grown in popularity over the past decade with more provisions being set aside by local councils and charities to support growth of the sport. Our recent success in the London Olympics 2012 brought gymnastics to the forefront, and it's positive influence on children is becoming widely apparent.
Gymnastics is one of the most comprehensive exercise programs available to children as it incorporates a number of different skills into one sport such as strength, flexibility, speed, balance, coordination, power and discipline. Beemat takes a look below at why gymnastics is so beneficial to children.
It goes without saying that gymnastics is a sport and therefore it helps to keep kids physically active and keep healthy. Taking part in any type of activity reduces the risk of childhood obesity and illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. Recent statistics in the UK showed that one in ten children are obese when they start primary school therefore encouraging moderate and vigorous activity among children is important to prevent this future trend.
Gymnastics equips children with the skills to better handle physical and emotional challenges in life. It provides children with the opportunity to communicate with other children of a similar age, to work together with them in a team, and also to engage with other adults. Some of the social skills included in gymnastics are listening, following directions, taking turns, being quiet and respecting others.
The regular attendance of a weekly gymnastics class shows children that if they commit to something, hard work and dedication can pay off. Gymnastics is also a challenging sport which requires concentration - a trait that can be challenged into everyday life, in particular within the schoolroom. There are rules and codes of conduct that must be followed which helps children to learn about safety and teaches them to respect others.
Studies have shown that children learn cognitive skills more effectively in an environment that includes the body as well as the mind. The intense movement that takes place in a gym opens up neural pathways in the brain, which can lead to increased concentration, focus and success, not just in the gym but at school and at home. In order to promote healthy development, it is vital that children recognise how to connect what the brain is saying to what the body is actually doing.
Gymnasts are renowned forhaving an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Taking part in gymnastics at a young age can help build the foundations of good all-around muscle strength, endurance, and power. Gymnastics also promotes strength of character - with increased activity comes an increase in endorphins, leading to happier more positive feelings.
Above all else, participating in gymnastics is fun. Children will love learning how to tumble, flip, swing and make their bodies perform stunts they never thought possible! In gymnastics, there is always another step to learn and it is therefore possible to learn something new in every class. It encourages children to be bold and to explore the capabilities of their bodies.
For further information about Gymnastics and becoming involved. Visit British Gymnastics who are the UK National Governing Body for the sport of Gymnastics, dedicated to developing gymnasts, coaches and clubs across a range of disciplines.