Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bouncing to a Healthier Child! Part 2

We've already learned that jumping on the trampoline:

  • Improves Balance and Coordination
  • Stimulates the Lymphatic System
  • Aids in the Development of Motor Skills
See full article here

Since that was a Part 1, I didn't want to leave you hanging too long for Part 2. The benefits are simply spectacular. So many reasons to sign your children up for trampoline, gymnastics or any movement rich class! Especially for the parents who don't want to be competitive with sports just yet, if ever, sign them up knowing you are aiding in your children's health and development. 

  • Brain Development - Did you know it aids in brain development not just motor skills? Physical movement is essential for the building of neurons in the brain and throughout the entire body. It helps develop the part of the child's brain that is critical for learning. If movement does not happen, especially at an early age, then neurological development is thwarted. This leads to a host of problems from learning disorders to behavioral problems.
    • Excessive television or video games can severely effect brain development. Think about the position of your head or your child's head while viewing t.v. or playing video games. It's pretty locked in one position, right? Remember, movement is NECESSARY for successful development.  
  • Helps with Constipation  - Isn't that wonderful news? I had a constipated kid and it is pretty painful watching your little one cry while struggling to make a BM. Bouncing exercises even the very small muscles located throughout the body that are often ignored through conventional exercises, which often focus on larger athletic muscles.  The bouncing movement stimulates circulation in the digestive tract, thus helping with bowel movements.
  • Improves Vision and Rhythm - Jumping requires that you keep your balance, while focusing on your surroundings. This helps to establish and improve depth, distance and other types of visual perception. Vision benefits are gained from rebounding by relating the objects around you to the space which you are occupying as you bounce up and down. One of the characteristics of people who suffer from insufficient vision is the lack of rhythm. Rebounding gives rhythm to the brain from the systematic bouncing. It helps develop visual coordination. With the greater circulation stimulated from rebounding, you will have more energy for vision needs. 

It also helps warm you up in this cold weather! So, I'm off to go bounce! Have a fabulous day!

-Coach Kelly

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Here's to the Parents...Keep it Up!

Being a business owning single mom of two was definitely not what I had dreamt of when I was younger. And I'm guessing many of you are leading a life that is quite different than the one you had pictured.

Didn't we all envision some sort of a cookie cutter life, go to college, get married, have children, one parent at home while the other worked, or a wonderful daycare lady or nanny to help with the littles if both parents had to (or wanted to) work? Home cooked breakfast and dinner around the table each day and bedtimes that run as smooth as silk?

Well, as many of you have figured out, this doesn't always happen. Oh, parts of it may happen, maybe even all of it, but as I get older, I'm learning it's much different than what we pictured. And as life keeps happening around me, I want to praise all the parents who are getting the job done, however they can manage. I want them to know that no matter how they are doing it, if their children are taken care of, fed often and loved to pieces, they are amazing! And just know that even if there are few "thank you's" from the little ones, you are teaching them some valuable life lessons.

So here's to you, moms, dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents and close friends who are helping raise the next generation.

Here's to the...

  • Parents sitting in the bleachers watching every split second of their child's gymnastics class, because this is the only part of the day where they can focus on exactly what that child is doing. Keep it up, you're children love that you are watching.
  • Parents sitting in the bleachers staring at their electronics and occasionally looking up to watch. That may be the only time in their day where they get to do a little socializing with their friends because every other minute of the day is spent with their children. Keep it up, you're children are learning that having friends is important to your happiness.
  • Parents who drop the athletes at the door in hopes to run a kid-free errand for an hour. Keep it up, you're children love that you signed them up for sports, even in your busy life.
  • Parents who drop the athletes at the door just to find a parking spot, recline their seat and close their eyes until class is over, because soon dinner and homework begin. Keep it up, you're children love that you help with homework and feed them dinner.
  • Parents who have nannies that bring their children to gymnastics because they can't fit it into their schedule. Keep it up, you're children are learning that having a job to support the family is important. 
  • Parents who have the time to take their kids to gymnastics, dance, soccer, music, riding and skateboarding lessons. Every. Single. Week. Keep it up, you're children love that you have the time to put them in lessons.
  • Parents who don't have their kids in any extra curricular activities because it's just not in the budget this year. Keep it up, you're children love that you are smart about the budget and will learn how to do the same.
  • Single parents who do all of the above with no one at home who can give you even 10 minutes of relief when you walk in the door. Keep it up, your children love that you are so strong.
  • Grandparents who help pick up kids, bus kids and feed kids for the parents who are busy at work. Keep it up, you're children and grandchildren will learn that families stick together and help each other out.
And a special, here's to the...
  • Widowed Parents who do all of the above on top of helping their children survive their grief, which is one of the hardest things a parent's heart has to do. You're doing the best you can. And that is wonderful. Keep it up!
All of you amaze me. This life we live is hard so raise your glass, put your feet up (even if only for a few seconds) and give yourself a pat on the back. Keep doing what you're doing and don't ever feel bad for not being in that cookie cutter life you imagined. 

Life is happening and you are doing it! Keep it up!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bouncing to a Healthier Child! Part 1

Walk in to Pacific Flips on any given day and you will probably hear kids ask if they are going to the trampoline this week. Most kids love the trampoline and we don't blame them, it's really fun! The fantastic part about trampoline is that it's not only fun, it's extremely beneficial to your health and development!

Here are just a few reasons why we like to include trampoline in all of our classes. 

  • Improves Balance and Coordination- Did you know that bouncing stimulates the tiny muscles of the vestibular system which manages the body’s balance and coordination?  The vestibular system is what helps with your balance. Have you ever watched ice skating and wonder how they don't get dizzy?! It's because their vestibular system is prepared and they've trained well. 
    • Bouncing also helps release congestion in the middle ear responsible for equilibrium and balance, as well as training the brain to develop muscular balance and coordination.

  • Stimulates the Lymphatic SystemThe lymphatic system produces and stores cells that fight infection.  It runs parallel with the veins and arteries, but unlike the circulatory system that has a heart, it has no pump. The lymphatic system relies on body movement to open and close the one-way valves to carry lymphatic cells through the channels. What do kids complain about when they start to get sick? That their neck hurts, more importantly, their lymph nodes, which are often swollen due to an infection.
    • In discussing the importance of the lymphatic system, Dr. C. Samuel West, Lymphologist states: When the lymphatic system is congested, the cells become deprived of oxygen, affecting the body’s ability to rid itself of its own waste material. Over time, other body systems that rely on the lymphatic system for waste removal will also become compromised, setting the stage for pain and disease. Bouncing activates the lymphatic system, increasing lymphocytes that will eat away diseased cells. Just a few minutes of bouncing may increase lymph flow as much as fifteen times.

  • Development of motor skills – The brain is forced to function bilaterally when a jumper is in the air. Both sides of the brain and both sides of the body must work together to maintain coordination and balance when on a trampoline. This increases motor skills. 
    • Ever notice and wonder why the coaches draw pictures in the middle of the big trampoline? Not only because we have some talented artists on staff and the kids love it, but it's actually a tool we use to help kids learn how to stay in the middle of the trampoline. Many kids who have never jumped before or have poor muscle control bounce all over the place in their first few attempts. Over time most kids can control their bounces and stay in the center. The amount of time it takes varies with each child. 

And personally, I think it's a smile maker. Just try to get on a trampoline in a bad mood. It's very difficult to not have that frown turn upside down while jumping!

There are many, many, more benefits to jumping on trampolines, but those will come in a future post. So for now, I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Coach Kelly