What Can Gymnastics Do for the Mind?

Would you believe that gymnastics can help improve more than just physical wellness? Although the physical benefits of gymnastics seem more apparent, there is a lot that it can do for your child's mental health as well.
 
“Approximately 4.4 million children are diagnosed with anxiety in the United States” - Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC)
 
Everyone experiences anxiety differently, but as a parent it is always difficult to watch your child struggle with their symptoms. What are some signs and symptoms commonly associated with anxiety and what can gymnastics do to help reduce some of these symptoms?
 
  1. Feeling Restless: One of the most prevalent signs of anxiety is the feeling of restlessness. Gymnastics is a sport where kids are constantly moving and by providing a safe and open environment for your child to run and jump you are allowing a healthy outlet for their wound-up energy.

Child Anxiety

  1. Difficulty concentrating: Teachers, coaches, and parents alike often notice this sign early on in a child’s development. Gymnastics is a challenging sport, but as a beginner, kids learn basic gymnastics skills that build a foundation for more difficult skills in the future. The easiest way to learn these foundational skills is through repetition. This strengthens the child’s self-discipline and focusing strategies. 

Child Anxiety

  1. Being irritable: Good communication is a key component to good gymnastics. Through gymnastics, children learn how to listen to others, follow instructions, cooperate with peers of all ages, and sportsmanship. While this does not eliminate irritability, it helps teach them how to express their thoughts and feelings in a more controlled manner.  
Child Anxiety
  1. Having muscle tension: Muscle tension is your body’s natural physical response to a stressful situation, however, in individuals with anxiety, muscle tension can occur in anticipation for a stressful situation that may or may not occur. While gymnastics involves a lot of running, jumping, and flipping, it also involves technique. To safely perform skills your child learns muscle strengthening exercises, drills for keeping tight form, and flexibility. Your child will learn to be aware of their body and their body’s needs. 
 
Gymnastics is a well-rounded sport. It challenges both the mind and body to grow. The best part is, this is all happening while your child is out there having fun!
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