Exercising by doing gymnastics can sound pretty intimidating. When we think of gymnastics we tend to think of those impressive Olympic athletes, hurling their bodies through the air as they jump, twist, and flip. While doing gymnastics takes coordination and agility, you don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from the sport.
What to expect from Gymnastics
There are many different areas of gymnastics to consider. There is trampolining, rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling, aerobic gymnastics, and acrobatic gymnastics. Anyone can sign up for a class, even children as young as 20 months old. Men and women each have their own set of events for competition, based on different areas of physical skill. Events for men include floor exercise, the high bar, parallel bars, vault, pommel horse, and still rings. Women’s events include vault, floor exercise, the uneven bars, and the balance beam.
How to prepare for Gymnastics
Prepare for a gymnastics workout the way you would with anything else: warming up. Stretch and make sure your body is limber, so that when you push it you are not straining your muscles. Other than that, approach each exercise with confidence. More gyms are including gymnastics rings in with their workout gear, and people may be too intimidated to use them – when’s the last time you saw someone use those wooden rings to haul themselves up besides in competition? But you can’t let that intimidate you. The rings help build strength and stability, and like other gymnastic tools you just have to be mentally prepared to tackle them.
Areas You’ll Work Out with Gymnastics
Gymnastics trains your muscle groups to work together to maintain balance, increase flexibility, and build strength. Flexibility is important not just for increasing your range of motion so that you can execute your moves, but to help prevent injuries that could result in muscle tears and strains. As your strength improves and you learn to bear your own weight on your arms, hands, etc, your body builds better bone density. Increased bone density is important because the bone density of an adult tends to decrease over time, which can lead to osteoporosis later. By taking part in a gymnastics workout, you come closer to the American Heart Association’s recommended 30 minutes of exercise five days a week for adults 18 and up. As long as you have an elevated heart rate and break a sweat, you are getting the moderately intense physical activity that will keep you healthy.
Tips for Success in Gymnastics
Use your success in gymnastics as motivation to promote an overall healthier lifestyle. As your body learns to bear more weight and improve its bone density and flexibility, don’t backtrack any of your hard work because of lifestyle choices. Gymnastics helps your body fight other ailments like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and works your heart, lungs, and muscles to make them robust. So eat a well-balanced diet and keep up with other regular activity so your body can reap the full benefits of your gymnastics workout.