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Prevent Childhood Obesity

Physical Activities Like Gymnastics Can Prevent Childhood Obesity

An exercising child on jungle gym bars


The generation we are currently raising in the United States faces a significant health problem. No previous generation has faced this problem on such a scale. The issue is childhood obesity, and it can create health issues that endure throughout a child’s life. In 2016, data gathered with the Body Mass Index method showed that nearly 1 in 5 school-aged American children had obesity. Childhood obesity puts young people at higher risk of chronic health conditions like asthma, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. It can also create risk factors for heart disease and bone and joint problems that endure into adulthood. There are many ways to prevent the prevalence of obesity and help young people with maintaining a healthy weight. At LA School of Gymnastics, we have several ideas on the kinds of physical activities that can contribute to weight control.


Tips for Parents

A child's hand beside a red apple encircled by a tape measure


Most health agencies and experts in health care and sports science agree. Children should avoid more than 2 hours of recreational screen time and participate in at least 60 minutes of ‘moderate intensity physical activity’ most days of the week. Ideally, every day. What constitutes moderate intensity physical activity? Things like playing tag or soccer, swimming, or dancing are all great examples. These activities are fun, challenging, and can be done for an hour or longer without great difficulty. One of the best ways to reinforce positive behavior when it comes to losing weight through exercise is by example. Participate in physical activity with your child or children. Make it a part of your daily routine and bond with your child while doing activities together. The double whammy of endorphin generation from both physical activity and connection with loved ones is a potent cocktail. The pleasant feeling this creates can be habit-forming for both of you! If your child is obese you may want to avoid activities that involve repetitive high-impact exercise. This means exercise that involves your child’s feet both leaving the ground at the same time. Prolonged activities such as running, jump rope, or jumping jacks can cause or contribute to existing joint and back pain. These activities may be picked up when your child has lost weight.


Of course, there are other steps necessary to ensure a healthy weight. All the swimming in the world won’t help your child if they aren’t following healthy eating habits. Make sure your child eats breakfast every day, preferably something without too much processed sugar. Give them fruit and vegetables to snack on during the day for quick energy. Set limits on soda and candy and stick to them. A lot of weight gain is caused not by consumption of fats, but sugars. Of course, it’s still important to refrain from eating too much saturated fat (found particularly in processed meats and dairy).


Childhood Obesity Prevention Through Gymnastics

Child sitting in a field, wearing a soccer uniform and holding a soccer ball


At the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, we believe that the athletic pursuit of gymnastics has numerous benefits. It’s one of the best activities you can do to prevent being overweight and obesity. It confers many physical advantages. Greater joint flexibility. Improved muscle strength, for upper and lower body as well as core strength. Healthier and sturdier bones. Incredible improvements in agility and reflexes. You might think that gymnasts have to have a certain body type, a certain shape or level of physical ability. Trust us when we tell you that is not true. Our school has, over the past 40+ years, taught gymnastics to people of all ages, body types, and levels of physical ability. The only things required are the right clothes and the right attitude. With those two things we can make a gymnast of practically anyone.


Classes with Los Angeles School of Gymnastics


Our classes start for those 18 months and up. They cover basic hand-eye coordination all the way to athletes preparing for national and international competition. We also have specialist classes for those interested in skills such as cheer, parkour, and rhythmic gymnastics. We operate day camps during school vacations with gymnastic classes included, so your children can try out our program. Over time, we’ve noticed that children who join our camps often make rapid improvements in their abilities! We’re confident that you’ll find Los Angeles School of Gymnastics an excellent way for your children to enjoy physical activity. If you’re interested in our range of classes, you can call us on (310) 204-1980.