Top 20 Reasons to start dance & tumbling
Watching gymnasts and dancers perform at the highest level, such as the Olympics or Broadway, it’s easy to be amazed at how they can do what they can do! Both sports share so many similar benefits, like precise movements, flexibility, power, agility, coordination, grace, balance and control. But these elite athletes are not the only ones who can benefit from participating: We can help your child as well!
Top 10 Reasons to do Gymnastics
1. Flexibility: Flexibility is a primary factor in gymnastics. Increasing flexibility can also be an effective aid to the reduction of injury, preventing people from forcing a limb to an injurious range of motion. By learning movements and combining them in a routine, the gymnast can attain greater flexibility and greater control of the body.
2. Disease prevention: Participation in gymnastics can help maintain a healthy body, which is key to preventing numerous health conditions such as asthma, cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Being involved in gymnastics helps encourage a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and eating a well-balanced diet.
3. Strong and healthy bones: Participation in weight-bearing activities — including tumbling/gymnastics — can develop strong, healthy bones, which is important to develop at a young age. As we age, we inevitably experience a decrease in bone mass every year. Building strong, healthy bones at a young age can help reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis later on in life.
4. Increased self-esteem: A study conducted by researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have indicated that children who participate in physical activity like gymnastics are likely to have better self-esteem and self-efficacy.
5. Daily exercise needs: The American Heart Association recommends children participate in 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Adults age 18 and over should participate in 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week. Participation in gymnastics helps meet the exercise recommendations set forth by the American Heart Association.
6. Increased cognitive functioning: Participation in gymnastics does not only offer physical gains; it is beneficial for improving concentration and mental focus – an important aspect of anyone’s life. Gymnastics allows children the chance to think for themselves, to stimulate their imaginations and to solve problems safely.
7. Increased coordination: Gymnasts do not react with as large a “startle response” to sudden imbalances as non-gymnasts. By applying this conditioning outside the sport, people become better equipped to avoid hazardous situations by quickly identifying them and naturally correcting body alignment when walking, standing or jumping, etc.
8. Strength development: Gymnastics produces, pound-for-pound, the best athletes in the world. Gymnastics uses almost exclusively body weight exercises to build upper body, lower body, and core strength.
9. Discipline: Gymnastics instills a sense of discipline. Each student must have the self control to make corrections when a coach asks them to, and they must also have the self discipline to stay on task when a coach is working with another gymnast.
10. Social skills: At all ages, gymnastics provides an opportunity to develop social skills. Younger children learn how to stand in line, look, listen, be quiet when others are talking, work and think independently, and how to be respectful of others. The older kids learn how to set a good example for the people who look up to them and become role models at a young age.
Credits: Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic (http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-gymnastics/)
Top 10 Reasons to Dance
1. Forever Young: Dancing is tremendously beneficial in keeping us young. It retards the aging process immensely. It benefits our heart, cardiovascular system and increases our lung capacity. Fact: The muscle exertion and breathing rates of dancers performing in one dance competition is equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers and an Olympic-level 800-meter runner.
2. Strong Bones, Lubricated Joints: Dance aids in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis for men and women. For women during post-menopause, there can be a significant drop in estrogen levels which stops calcium from being absorbed into the bones. Dancing can also help keep joints lubricated in order to prevent arthritis.
3. Calorie Blaster: Dance exercises our bodies to allow for increased circulation. It helps us burn those calories away, while improving our stamina. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. For example, swing and mambo burn more calories than a slow waltz. Check out approximately how many calories you burn while dancing to your own tune:
4. Better Blood: New research has discovered that it is necessary to measure both good and bad cholesterol levels when determining our health. Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises our HDL (good cholesterol), and lowers our LDL (bad cholesterol). Dancing is also great for diabetics because it aids in blood sugar control.
5. Mental Mastery: Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, routines and dance patterns making it a great mental exercise for our brains. The big benefit is that increasing mental exercise keeps your mind young, quick, alert and open.
6. It’s All About Balance: Balancing yourself in one position may be easy, but balancing in the numerous types of positions involved in dancing is much more difficult. Dancers have mastered the ability to balance themselves in a number of positions. This strengthens our stabilizer muscles, while protecting our core and keeping us less prone to injury in our daily lives. Dancing also aids in coordination and helps strengthen our reflexes. It is a great way to keep our Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System in tip-top shape by improving the connection of our bodies to our mind.
7. Socially Satisfying: Dancing is recreational and entertaining. It creates a social life for us, while affording us the opportunity to make new friends. Friends helps us grow, make us laugh and support us as we learn.
8. Culturally Diverse: Dancing has no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor. Cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our mind and sharing our spirit!
9. Groomed to Perfection: Dancing is not only fun and romantic, but it helps promote good grooming because everybody wants to look his or her best while they dance. Good grooming keeps us healthy by keeping us high on hygiene.
10. A Happy Self: Dance elevates our mood by raising our endorphin levels. This is what allows us to heal stress and depression – two of our immune system’s biggest enemies! It helps us establish our self-confidence and self-discipline. It improves the harmony between our mind and body, giving us a sense of well-being.
Credits: article was contributed by Barbara Craddock to Dancescape.com (http://www.dancescape.com/fitness-health-benefits-of-dancing)