Gymnastics, an exercise program that incorporates balance, strength, coordination, speed, flexibility, and power, is more than just a sport that you see at the Olympics, a sport that’s been contested since the very first modern Olympic Games back in 1896. The sport offers an excellent way to learn new skills and stay in shape. While many individuals don’t start until their preteen years, getting your preschooler involved in gymnastics offers a variety of benefits.
Preschoolers are full of energy and extremely impressionable. It’s the perfect time to teach them important lessons that will shape the course of their lives. According to USAGym.org, it’s between the ages of 2 and 5 that children are developing fundamental movement skills, making these younger years an important time in their development.
Why get your child involved in preschool gymnastics? Here are a few advantages to getting them started young and giving them a head start.
Stimulate Cognitive Growth
Starting your child in gymnastics while they’re young offers the advantage of stimulating cognitive growth. The brain’s right side is responsible for visualization and creativity, while the left side of the brain deals more with analytical thinking. Gymnastics involves both the left and right sides of the brain, exercising the entire brain to help young children boost both sides of the brain.
Build Healthy Bones
Another advantage to giving your child a head start with preschool gymnastics is giving them the chance to build healthy, strong bones. Classes designed for preschoolers include weight-bearing exercises that places pressure on the bones, stimulating bone density to help kids develop a healthy, strong skeletal system that benefits them for life.
Learn Discipline and Self-Control
Kids that take gymnastics classes at the preschool age learn far more than just tumbling and balance. They also develop discipline and self-control at a young age – valuable skills for life. As they learn discipline and self-control, they’ll be better able to develop their skills and work well on their own and with others as they grow older. Without discipline, it’s difficult to succeed in school, college, or on the job, so building this foundation now sets them up for success in many areas as they grow into teens and adults.
Give Kids a Social Outlet
Many younger children don’t have a lot of socialization with other children outside of their own family. Group activities like gymnastics offer great socialization benefits to young kids. Not only are they learning to follow directions and listen, but they have the chance to make friends and interact with the other preschoolers in their class. Interacting with other children in their age group helps them develop social skills, teaching them basic social practices and additional lessons like waiting their turn or sharing.
Strength, Coordination, and Flexibility
As children’s bodies are developing during their preschool years, getting started in gymnastics offers a great way to build strength, coordination, and flexibility. The body-strengthening exercises of gymnastics help build core, lower body, and upper body strength. Alignment skills that include jumping, standing, and walking can all increase coordination. Gymnastics also involves movements that boost flexibility, and flexibility lowers the risk of many types of injury.
Build Healthy Exercise Habits
Most of us know that childhood obesity has become a serious problem today, and 13.9% of 2- to 5-year-olds are obese today according to the CDC. That sobering number is a reminder that the fight for our children’s health starts at a very young age, and gymnastics offers a great way for preschoolers to begin building healthy habits now. Kids should be getting an hour of physical activity each day, and getting involved in a gymnastics class ensures that children are getting more activity. Regular exercise, weight control, and maintaining a healthy, strong body helps prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity, asthma, and heart disease later in life. Remember, when preschoolers learn healthy behaviors now, they’re more likely to stick with them as they grow older.
Even if your child is still in preschool, getting them involved in gymnastics now offers many advantages. From building healthy bones to developing their brain to learning social skills to building healthy habits that last a lifetime, it’s easy to see the benefits of start gymnastics young. Preschool gymnastics classes aren’t overly structured and allow kids to have plenty of fun while they get active and build important skills.
Get Your Child Started with Gymnastics at Lake City Twisters
Contact our team at Lake City Twisters to learn more about youth gymnastics programs and get your child on the way to developing the discipline, physical fitness, and cognitive skills they need to succeed now and later in life.