8 Amazing Health Benefits of Gymnastics
Have you ever witnessed girls and boys hopping on the bars, doing stunts unbelievable to the human eye, and leaving the audience stunned with their display of flexibility? They must have left you wondering as to whether they even have bones? Yes they have but their flexibility is due to their hard work, relentless training, and commitment to their goals to climb higher on the ladder of success.
Gymnastics is one great form of workout that has positive outcomes for your overall health and fitness. Just in the United States of America, gymnastics has attracted youth in great numbers, and participation of the children aged 6-12 has increased from 2.3 percent in 2008 to 3.6 percent in 2019.
Gymnastics as a sport is famous all around the world but Federation Internationale de Gymnastics (FIG) has ranked the United States of America number one for the immense popularity of this sport in the country.
Several studies have substantiated the significance of gymnastics for bones, muscles, and mental health. Not only is gymnastics good for building muscle flexibility, but it also teaches self-discipline. That’s why gymnasts are often confident, they make conscious decisions and thrive both in professional and personal life.
Why is gymnastics good for you?
With a consistent workout, you can train your mind to stay relaxed by letting out all the frustration and stress. But to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing, you need something more intense in terms of a training program. That’s where gymnastics work best and is so good for you. It helps you build willpower and self-esteem, improves sleep quality, combats depression, and supports weight loss in the most effective way.
Practicing from an early age for gymnastics is all that makes a difference. It targets every muscle group to build strength and flexibility. More importantly the release of antioxidant enzymes and lowering of blood pressure not only boosts your immunity but also your metabolic rate.
Now, let’s find out all the incredible health benefits of gymnastics because it’s never too late to start chasing your dream.
It Dramatically Enhances the Body’s Flexibility
You won't come across a gymnast whose body is not flexible. In fact, flexibility is the first thing that might have stunned you in the first place to start training. Gymnastics involve a variety of stunts and moves which require a greater degree of flexibility. With this said, those stunts and bends which you learn through training lessen the muscles and joints rigidity. This means gymnasts can rehearse various movements without hurting their muscles because increased flexibility ensures a lower risk of injury. Plus, as posture and gravity hold increases with consistent training, it becomes easier for a gymnast to practice balance on a balance beam.
Early participation in gymnastics training not only dramatically improves flexibility but also impedes growth defects and exhaustion.
Source: Why are Gymnasts so Flexible?
It Boosts Healthy Brain Functioning
Research has proved a direct link between exercise and the smart functioning of the brain. It is believed that intense physical activity can affect cognitive markers that include reasoning and communication skills, and spatial ability. These are all particular intellectual activities that in a nutshell determine a person’s cerebral health, including his memory and learning skills.
A study investigated the cerebral difference between professional and unprofessional athlete established that those who performed more complex workout routines stated advanced cognitive skills than others.
The main takeaway from the researches that proved the link between high-intensity workouts like gymnastics and brain functioning is that now you can make your brain smarter. It boosts cognitive health by expanding retention, reasoning, and intellectual skills.
It develops self-esteem and control
You might think how self-esteem as a trait is linked with an athlete but it does. In fact, when a gymnast has self-esteem and control over his emotions during the performance, he/she knows how they are performing. This self-awareness creates confidence in them which is a step forward towards success. All these things in a nutshell train a gymnast's mind not to over criticize his performance.
With improved confidence and sense of judgment, a gymnast trains harder for better strength and muscles. A study has proved that self-control and exercise are a killer combo for a stellar performance. Children at a young age can learn focus and self-control by practicing challenging sports like gymnastics.
It can improve bone health
What if you can increase bone density without taking any medication? This sounds great. Gymnastic training can aid in improving bone density and overall health.
With the aging process, our bones start losing their mineral and resultantly get thinner. This leads to severe bone problems like osteoporosis, bone loss, and fracture.
A study backed the positive impact of gymnastic training on bone health in girls. The results of the study showed that girls who practiced intense gymnastic moves had enhanced bone density as compared to the other group of girls who didn't do any physical exercise. Therefore, now you have another reason to start training so you can stay fit longer. Why delay when you can just roll away the gymnastic mat right away and learn some killer moves.
Xn8 Sports gymnastic mat is a trifold mat on which you will be able to safely perform all those challenging moves.
It can help in weight loss
Have you seen those gymnasts performing in international events like the Olympics? You sure had noticed that they have more muscular strength and less body fat. No doubt, gymnastics is an intense workout that helps in burning calories and makes your body lean.
Due to their strict diet and long hours of training, calorie loss is relatively higher in gymnasts. A study confirmed gymnastics as a moderate fat loss workout, it encourages steady weight loss if practiced consistently. Plus, with enhanced flexibility and balance, it also promotes the body's conditioning. This means, by learning gymnastic moves, you can find yourself on the way to weight loss.
Also, it helps you replace your unhealthy eating habits and cravings with a healthy diet. As gymnastics requires you to eat healthily, this automatically kills your craving of devouring all that junk you've been consuming lately.
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It can prevent and treat incorrect body posture
Retaining a straight pose to perfect a gymnastic move encourages a right body posture. Wrong body posture either while sitting or standing often leads to exhaustion and back pain. A study proved that gymnasts have much-controlled body postures than other people and this indicates that how good this workout and sport is for most of people.
Why a correct body posture is necessary? Because people with incorrect posture find it difficult to move around. Plus, it also upsets the motor skills which means this can escalate the likelihood of falling without proper support.
Since gymnasts have a flexible body and greater coordination and poise, postural control is obvious. It helps them walk effortlessly at a later age and sit for extended hours without suffering from back pain.
It helps in dealing with depression
Researchers have always stressed the importance of physical exercise in lessening stress, anxiety, and depression. Gymnastics, too, has been considered a top-class workout to combat depression. Studies have shown that a consistent workout routine for a depressed person can significantly help in improving his psychological health.
Physical exercise does affect our brain by reducing endorphin which is the major culprit behind frustration, restlessness, and other symptoms of depression. The absence of physical activity can cause endorphin in both young and grownups. Now that we know studies have proved the effectiveness of gymnastics and any physical exercise on our mental health, it is effectively established that it helps in the reduction of the symptoms of depression.
It can positively affect muscles health
Research on the impacts of gymnastics on muscle health showed that consistent gymnastics training can boost muscle responses and extension. If you know about hip extension, then you must know that what is muscle extension and how vital it is for adults. A study revealed that athletes have 30% greater muscle extension than non-athletes.
For a general introduction, muscle extension is the increase in the angle between two bones (straightening a bend), whereas the opposite of this has the medical term 'muscle flexion'.
Gymnastics increases the proper development of the muscles and if you train regularly, it will not only tone your muscles but also reduce the muscles' tenderness and pain.
No wonder gymnastics is a challenging sport but the benefits it involves are much greater than the physical exhaustion one might face while practicing. If you know these benefits, then it will be easy for you to build endurance and keep yourself on track. In the US, a greater number of children and adults are participating in this sport to have greater flexibility and muscular strength.
Better sleep and healthy eating habits are other aspects of gymnastics that we cannot deny. This means your body will stay energetic due to the consumption of healthy food and enough sleep because you are treating it right.
Since it is an intense sport, treating your mind and body in the right way is critical for better performance. But you should not leave the fun factor out of it. Instead of stressing yourself, you should think of it as fun because you will learn a new skill and your body will experience things that you've never dreamt of before.