The 4 Benefits of Kickboxing Classes for Kids
Study after study has shown that children and teenagers benefit from regular exercise, with advantages ranging from better study habits and a deeper interest in healthy food. In one study, just a 20-minute walk through a park helped kids with ADHD improve their symptoms.
So, where is a good place to start if your kids are more sedentary or don’t seem to be interested in sports at school? Many parents are finding that kickboxing can be the answer. This workout not only helps children stay physically fit, but offers a considerable range of other benefits, including these four:
1. Lifetime of Injury-Prevention Skills
Because trained professionals supervise and teach kickboxing classes, children will learn how to build strength and endurance while minimizing the risk of injury. That will be hugely valuable if they decide to try other sports in the future or augment their kickboxing with sports at school or a martial art.
Classes emphasize a number of different muscle movements that incorporate full-body workouts, including arm strength, fast-twitch muscle-fiber development, and greater range of motion. The result is that students avoid the kind of injury that comes from repetitive movements seen in other kinds of sports—think of a pitcher’s throwing arm, for example, or a soccer player’s kicking leg. That means that whatever sport a child pursues, he or she will have a better chance of preventing problems like joint pain and stress fractures.
2. Greater Sense of Respect
Like any martial art, kickboxing emphasizes respect for other students. Even in matches, students aren’t taught to battle aggressively and recklessly, but rather to use leverage, conditioning, and strategy to outmatch an opponent. There’s acknowledgement that fellow students and the teacher deserve to be respected.
Equally valuable is that students learn to respect themselves—an enormously valuable skill that can give them confidence, competence, and enthusiasm for whatever comes their way inside or outside of the classroom.
3. Ability to Be Part of a Team
In some ways, kickboxing can be a solo endeavor, in which each student is focusing on skill-building at his or her own level, but the sense of friendly competition and support in every class makes a student group feel like a team. Being able to act as a contributing member of that team is an attribute that a child can carry forward for a lifetime.
When a child learns teamwork, the result can be profound, from a greater sense of empathy to stronger social connections to better emotional control. He or she can problem-solve on a different level and have a collaborative attitude toward others.
4. Truly Have Fun
While it’s true that kids will be gaining strength and learning important skills in kickboxing, they’ll also be having a great time. That can have a ripple effect in many ways. It teaches them that hard work doesn’t have to be a drag, that it’s worth the time and effort to increase ability, and, most of all, that fitness can be an engaging and worthwhile pursuit.
If you want your child or teen to tap into these benefits, consider signing him or her up for a youth kickboxing class, with a UFC GYM Free Pass.