Benefits of Gymnastics
There are many benefits of participating in Gymnastics for people of all ages - take a look at out list of them below!
1. Disease Prevention
Participating in moderate gymnastics training regularly reduces the risk of developing health related diseases such as asthma, cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Gymnastics encourages a healthy diet, regular exercise and a balanced lifestyle. Gymnastics training assists in the building of strong bones in children and can decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life. Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly can equally reap the health benefits of gymnastics participation.
2. Increased Flexibility
A large amount of time is spent on improving flexibility in gymnastics training. For competitive gymnasts this means improving leaps and jumps. For recreational and adult gymnasts this is about improving the flexibility of muscle groups in order to prevent injury. The more flexible a person’s muscles are, the less likely they are to strain or tear a muscle completing everyday tasks.
3. Improves Motor Skill Development and Accelerates Learning
In gymnastics training, athletes learn how to strategically fall, and are constantly making minor adjustments in movements. These constant adjustments allow gymnasts to become more aware of movements and their consequences. This improves coordination and accelerates the learning of fine motor skills.
4. Improves Concentration
Gymnastics helps improve focus in young people and adults. Gymnastics tasks require high levels of concentration in order to reduce the risk of injury. Improved concentration and focus comes from the independent thinking and problem solving skills developed when learning a new skill or completing a difficult task. New skills and difficult tasks are relative to each individual so improvements in focus and concentration can be seen throughout all levels of gymnastics. Improving concentration can also improve a person’s cognitive function and memory skills.
Gymnastics training teaches discipline to athletes from a young age. Athletes must be able to take corrections from their coaches and apply them independently; they must also be able to continue with their program on their own when a coach is working with another athlete. Gymnasts learn to have the discipline and commitment to attend class every session and to finish strength reps even when it hurts. In addition, athletes acquire determination to push through fears in order to achieve new skills
6. Improves Strength
Gymnastics training emphasizes body weight strength to improve core strength, reflexes, whole body muscle extension and flexion, and balance. Gymnasts are some of the strongest athletes in the world and gymnastics strength training can help tone all muscles and assists in decreasing chronic muscle soreness and pain.
7. Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Young people participating in competitive gymnastics are less likely to be involved in drugs, crime, or alcohol. This is due to the busy schedule that gymnastics training demands on top of schooling. Gymnastics can be seen as one of the healthiest sports in Australia as alcohol has no place in the gymnastics culture. Gymnasts are shielded from the typical early exposure to alcohol associated with sports such as football, as even from a spectator point of view alcohol has no place in gymnastics. Gymnastics also creates more mentally healthy children and can increase self-esteem.
8. Pregnancy Benefits
Moderate gymnastics training can improve the mental health and quality of sleep of pregnant women. Research by Kocsis et al shows that there was a significant decrease in anxiety and stress in a group of pregnant women who participated in gymnastics than those who did not. They also proved that gymnastics decreases restless sleep, chronic tiredness, and daytime sleep in pregnant women. The group of women who did not participate in gymnastics at all showed no positive results at all.
9. Time Management
It is a common occurrence that top performing gymnasts are also top performing students. This is due to the fact that gymnastics teaches young people time management skills. Students involved in gymnastics must typically plan their weeks in advance. This includes packing school lunch on a Sunday night, preparing training gear before school, allocating time to complete homework, and emailing teachers to catch up on any missed work. Adults who participate in gymnastics as children are generally better at managing their time later in life than those with no gymnastics experience.