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What Are the Benefits of Gymnastic Classes for Kids?

by Cari Oleskewicz, studioD

Gymnastics is a sport that kids can begin at a young age and continue doing through their teen and college years. While some children use their talents and skills to become competitive gymnasts, others participate in the sport because they enjoy learning new skills and developing their level of fitness. With the rate of childhood obesity on the rise and more kids interested in video games and television than outdoor play, gymnastics classes offer a number of physical and social benefits.

Physical Benefits

Gymnastics classes can provide your child with a number of physical benefits, regardless of the child's age or ability. Gymnastics will increase strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination. They will learn balance on the beam, as well as power when they vault. The bars and rings will encourage them to lift, swing and move their bodies in new ways. USA Gymnastics points out that gymnastics classes can help train children for any other sport they choose to pursue, as they get older. The athletic foundation is put in place via gymnastics classes.

Social Benefits

Young children will learn valuable social skills at their gymnastics classes. They will have to listen, follow directions, take turns and be respectful to each other. Children of all ages will also learn to motivate one another and compete with each other in a team atmosphere. Kids in gymnastics classes learn to perform in front of others without anxiety and build trusting, respectful relationships with their coaches and teammates.

Cognitive Benefits

Your child will need to visualize the skill he is learning before he performs it. Gymnastics provides a great way for children to use their brains and their bodies. USA Gymnastics reports there is a strong correlation between physically fit children and academic achievement. Nerve cells multiply, promoting healthy brain function and strengthening brain connections. The cognitive requirements of gymnastics will carry over into the classroom. The coordination necessary for gymnastics will also have an impact on cognitive abilities. Your child might be able to focus better in school when gymnastics is a part of her life.

Character Benefits

Gymnastics lessons promote discipline, determination, courage and self-confidence, and kids will benefit from learning from their mistakes. Children persevere, even when they fall or need help to complete a skill. Self-esteem builds a gymnast's character, and those who attend classes with others will understand fairness and trust. Setting goals will become natural, and children will learn to dream big outside of the gym, as well. Children who are physically active or involved in sports are less likely to make bad choices when it comes to behaviors involving alcohol, drugs and smoking.

About the Author

Cari Oleskewicz is a writer and blogger who has contributed to online and print publications including "The Washington Post," "Italian Cooking and Living," "Sasee Magazine" and Pork and Gin. She is based in Tampa, Florida and holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism from Marist College.

Photo Credits

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