Gymnastics is a comprehensive activity that is not only physical but also mentally and socially beneficial. The best time to get into gymnastics is as a child, as it challenges children and provides a healthy outlet to expend their energy while learning a few important skills. The rewards are numerous, and kids have a lot to gain from gymnastics. Here are nine great reasons why you should enrol your kids in a gymnastics class as soon as possible.
9 reasons why your child should become a gymnast
1. Improves flexibility
Gymnastics involves a lot of exercises that require multiple bends, jumps, and twists. These exercises help to stretch their muscles and reduce stiffness in the joints. For child gymnasts, starting early gives them a great headstart. They can get their bodies into shape early, and with more practice, they become more flexible.
A gymnast needs to be flexible to practice gymnastics, and if they aren’t flexible enough, they can get injured during practice. Flexibility helps to prevent fatigue, bone weakness, and joint pains. Also, flexibility training targets muscles and is a general body exercise. Gymnastics keeps kids active and healthy, makes them less susceptible to stiff joints and weak muscles.
2. Improves their balance and posture
Gymnastics is a great way to teach posture to young kids. Posture is better taught at a young age, so child gymnasts grow up with that advantage. Good posture helps reduce tension in the muscles, improves control, and prevents many back pain and aches in the future.
Children also learn balance and coordination when practicing gymnastics. This can help them become more aware of their bodies, making them move better and improve agility. As mentioned by Alicia Mines, founder of fit2bmom.com, gymnastics gives kids stability and coordination that they can apply to other aspects of their lives.
3. Improves social skills and etiquette
When children participate in group activities, like gymnastics, they learn how to communicate with children of all ages. They learn to work together with others and fit into friend groups with other children their age. Gymnastics also helps them relate to adults and older people. It teaches them essential skills that they can carry on as they grow older.
Children need to interact with their peers from an early age because it teaches them how to respect each other, make friends, and get exposure to different personalities. Gymnastics also teaches them to listen to others, obey instructions, cooperate with others, and good sportsmanship.
4. It’s a foundation for other athletic sports
Gymnastics is what is known as a foundation activity. Children develop their strength, flexibility, coordination, and agility that you can transfer to other sports. They can learn balance in gymnastics that will help them perform better in soccer. The coordination and balance they get from gymnastics can translate into basketball, and strength can help them on the football pitch.
Sports also require mental skills that kids can get from gymnastics, like quick thinking, decision-making skills, hand to eye coordination, and sharp movement. Gymnastics is an all-over exercise that develops every area of the body that they can use in other athletic activities.
5. Improves discipline and resilience
To be a good gymnast, children need to be disciplined and determined. The exercises involved require self-determination to master. Gymnastics teach children listening skills and respect for others, making them more respectful of others and their time. Children will also learn to practice on a strict schedule to master the necessary skills at gymnastics.
Gymnastics is a tasking activity that takes a lot of energy, practice, and hours of work. Nobody gets good at it in days, so children will learn to get up after falling. They also have to develop the self-discipline to pick themselves up every day to practice, these skills are essential for kids to pick up early, and they will benefit them in other areas of life.
6. It’s a fun and enjoyable activity
Apart from the essential skills to gain from gymnastics, children will enjoy participating in gymnastics. It is a fun activity that they will enjoy doing. They will perform jumps, twists, and bends with other children of their age. It is also great for them to burn off energy and keep them occupied. Gymnastics helps children explore their creativity in a fun and controlled activity.
7. Helps to build their strength
Gymnasts are known for their great strength-to-weight ratio, and they tend to have toned and firm muscles. Gymnastics is an activity that engages all the muscles in the body and helps to build muscle strength and endurance. When children start early, gymnastics gives them a headstart in developing their general body strength and endurance.
8. Increases cognitive skills
Gymnastics is an activity that engages the mind and body. At a young age, kids get to develop their mental ‘muscles’ and their physical strength. There is a direct link between physical activity and cognitive skills, and gymnastics is one of the complete athletic sports. Gymnastics helps develop skills like verbal communication, inductive reasoning, and spatial awareness.
For example, math is considered a spatial sport that improves with the movement and connections made in the brain. Gymnastics engages the mind and improves spatial awareness, which helps in understanding mathematical equations.
9. Improves confidence and self-esteem
For kids, gymnastics can be a great activity to improve their self-esteem and confidence. Performing gymnastics activities correctly can help to develop a healthy sense of self and confidence in children. Gymnastics challenge children, and every fall help to build character. As they improve in their gymnastics activities, it gives them healthy confidence to help improve their mental health.
The best age for starting gymnastics
The best age for children to start gymnastics is 6 years old. It gives them a good start to practice and develop their skills, and instills a love of the sport. You can find gymnastics classes for younger children like toddlers, but they are mostly developing their coordination and stability. These age groups are mostly for children looking to participate professionally. For recreational gymnastics, your child can start as old as 12.
Gymnastics is a complete sport that has gained a lot of attention over the years. It is complete because it challenges the mind and body while teaching children some important life lessons along the way. Enroll your kids in a class and see the benefits of this great sport.
Such a great way for kids to keep fit and to make new friends. My little one loves gymnastics x
My girls do competitive acrobatic gymnastics, both are now in their clubs top squad competing regionally. They started 2.5 years ago and couldn’t do a handstand now they are tumbling and being thrown in the air, they love it. I agree it teaches them so much.