Gymnastics: A Fun and Healthy Alternative to Screen Time
The average American child between the ages of 2 and 8 spends more than two hours on screens every day, according to a report by Common Sense Media in 2021. Change those ages to between 8 and 12, and the number doubles to almost five hours on screens per day.
Most parents are well aware of the many problems too much screen time can cause, including sleeping problems, behavioral issues, eye and vision problems, obesity, and delayed social skill development.
But what is a parent to do in this modern, sedentary world?
Enroll your kids in gymnastics! Gymnastics is a fun and healthy way to combat every consequence of screen time while also building new behaviors and habits without the need for screens.
Gymnastics offers an opportunity to stay active. During a gymnastics lesson, your child will be active the entire time. Typically, the lessons start with a variety of activities designed to warm up the athlete by getting their blood flowing and preparing them for what’s to come.
After warm-ups, lessons typically move into skills training on specific moves and techniques, including balance beam work, handstands, cartwheels, bridges, rolls, and other floor exercises.
Even the cool-down activities inside gymnastics lessons are active and include stretches and movement.
Gymnastics lessons provide a well-organized and extended duration of physical activity. This is good news because while kids love to be active, sometimes screen time can zap their creativity on how to do so. Gymnastics lessons are fun and guided by the coach, so all you as a parent and the students have to do is show up.
You can extend your child’s active time outside of gymnastics by asking your child to show you what they are learning in gymnastics, what they are really good at, and what they want to work on. Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your child to perfect their movements and techniques.
Gymnastics can also help develop healthy habits. Screen time can be a habit that develops unintentionally. Gymnastics can offer parents and their children the opportunity to develop a fun and healthy new habit. Plus, the more you learn gymnastics, the more fun it becomes. Gymnastics is a great alternative to screen time.
Attending gymnastics lessons is awesome, but it is not the only healthy habit developed. Children learn other healthy habits while being active in gymnastics, including setting and achieving goals, building discipline, and working with others. These healthy habits genuinely lead to better self-esteem and a better relationship with physical activity overall.
Additionally, regular gymnastics training can help instill healthy habits such as staying active and taking care of one’s physical and mental health. Through gymnastics, children can learn the importance of setting and achieving goals, building discipline and persistence, and working collaboratively with others. These healthy habits and values can help them develop a positive relationship with physical activity and prioritize it over sedentary screen time.
One way to further instill healthy habits while your child is in gymnastics is to talk to them about their achievements as well as what they enjoyed and to encourage them to practice outside of lessons.
Gymnastics can also help reduce screen dependency. Children who are enrolled in gymnastics have consistent exposure to learning, having fun, and being active without the use of screens. Each lesson reinforces the idea that they do not need screen time to be entertained or have fun. Moreover, the skills learned about working hard and improving oneself may be applied to other areas of life.
As your child is engaged in gymnastics lessons, their social skills may blossom, causing them to desire more playtime with friends rather than their screen.
As a parent, it’s tough to navigate a world where screens are increasingly dominating the lives of our children. Fortunately, gymnastics offers an alternative that allows them to stay healthy and active. By enrolling your child in gymnastics, you can help them stay active, develop new skills, set and achieve goals and build social skills.
If you’re a parent looking for help in this world where screens are increasingly dominating our children’s lives, consider signing up at U.S. Gold Gymnastics. We offer you an alternative for parents to help their kids stay active, healthy and social.