By Celeste Torres
Remember the time you celebrated your tiny champion when he or she learned to roll over on their tummy, when they learned to crawl and then to walk? Moments like this, great or small, are moments we share and celebrate at the city of Davis Gymnastics and Dance Center.
Our gymnastics and dance program provides a fun and safe environment that helps kids be physically active. Not only do gymnastics and dance provide a solid fitness foundation, they also provide many other benefits, from socialization skills to life skills to basics that can enhance performance in other sports.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, participating in physical activity has beneficial effects on body weight, blood pressure and bone strength. Physically active children also are more likely to remain physically active throughout adolescence and possibly into adulthood. Enrolling your champion in gymnastics is a great foundation for a healthy and active start to life!
The No. 1 reason gymnastics is great for kids is that it’s fun. Where else can kids run, jump, flip, swing, tumble and use all of their energy in a single class? If your toddler is active, climbing on everything and jumping on the bed or other furniture, this is a good sign that you should register for our program.
Gymnastics is one of the only activities children can begin when they learn to walk and provides them with their first organized activity. The sport teaches strength, flexibility, agility, confidence and balance, and allows your child to interact with other children in a social environment where he or she will learn how to take turns and interact with his or her peers.
Your child can learn to swing on the bar, kick to a handstand, jump on a trampoline, climb a rope or run into a foam landing pad and climb out — all of those activities help develop fine and gross motor skills. These skills are transferable to daily life and future athletics.
Gymnastics also offers cognitive benefits. When children are engaging in gymnastics, they are exercising their brains as well as their bodies. According to Dr. Robyn Silverman, “Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between physically fit children and academic achievement. This means that every time you send your child to gymnastics class, they’re getting an opportunity to engage in physical exercise that encourages healthy brain function. Nerve cells multiply and connections in the brain are strengthened.
“It is not surprising that children who are engaging in consistent physical activity like gymnastics are more likely to get better grades than their inactive peers.”
At the city of Davis Gymnastics and Dance Center we believe every child is a champion and would like to celebrate with you! We invite all children ages 1-17 to National Gymnastics Day Open House on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Gymnastics and Dance Center, 23 Russell Blvd. in downtown Davis. This open house will be loaded with fun, including a huge obstacle course, gymnastics circuits, glow-in-the-dark room and more.
Our coaching staff believes that recreational gymnastics should serve as a springboard for lifelong health and fitness as well as an enduring source of validation and pride. With more than 25 dedicated coaches on staff, we believe every child is unique and learns is his or her own way. Come meet our staff on Sept. 21 with any questions you have about the program.
For more information, visit www.cityofdavis.org, stop by the Community Services Office at 600 A St., Suite C, or call 530-757-5626.
— Celeste Torres is a community services coordinator with the city of Davis. This column is published monthly.