The history of gymnastics is a fascinating area of study. Were you aware that gymnastics has been practiced as a sport for over 2,000 years? Early images of gymnastic feats have been depicted in early Greek art, especially murals.
The practice of gymnastics has continued and is very much alive today. In 2004, for example, Carly Patterson, who was 16 years old at the time, won the Olympic gold medal for the Women’s All-Around gymnastics event.
In 2013, there were approximately 4.97 million individuals six years and older that participated in some form of gymnastic activities. While many of these individuals may be physically active on a regular basis, others may not be. Recent data has shown that just one-in-three children are actually engaged in physical activities on a daily basis.
When considering children between the ages of two and five, the American Academy of Pediatrics has several recommended activities. These activities assist them with practicing and developing important motor skills:
The American Academy of Pediatrics also indicates that children between the ages of two and five could begin taking gymnastics classes. However, these classes would need to take their social, emotional, and motor skill levels into account.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children from the age of six to 17 years old should have a minimum of an hour of physical activity every day. These activities can include, walking, running, swimming, riding bikes, and of course, gymnastics.
Given that more young people are engaged in sedentary activities such as watching TV, playing video games, and interacting with their computer, it’s unlikely that they are getting enough exercise. It has been estimated that children are spending over seven hours a day engaged in these and other types of sedentary activities.
Fortunately, there are many schools that encourage physical activity. Team-building sports such as cheerleading squads are growing in popularity A recent survey showed that 80% of America’s schools have cheerleading squads.
Approximately 12% of children that participate in cheerleading squads are between the ages of five and 13. Another 12% within this age bracket are dancers, and around 98% of female cheerleads used to be gymnasts.
In addition to engaging in physical activity, the benefits of gymnastic classes will vary from child-to-child. Gymnastics for kids encourages positive social interaction and other team-building skills. A gymnastics class for kids can also assist with developing confidence and a positive outlook on life.
Parents can encourage their children to be more active by taking them to gymnastics events. They can also take their child to observe a gymnastics for kids class. Many children will become inspired by watching these events and want to participate as a result.
Gymnastics for kids can also improve or increase a child’s self-esteem. It is well-known how important self-esteem is to a child’s overall development. When they experience success taking gymnastics for kids, this positive energy can resonate into all facets of their life.