In our previous blog we were talking about how it’s important to not let your children’s physical activity be put on hold just because school has started up. After all, kids need a lot of activity, and too few of them just aren’t getting it. Add to that the fact that unhealthy snacks are a part of most kids’ days and you start to realize just how important it is that they are a part of an active after school program. Thanks to the Junior Boots program at our kids’ gym, they’ll be able to get the activity they need and have a blast while doing it!

But we think that our indoor obstacle course offer some great advantages that you might not find in other sports. And if your child participates in more than one sport, great! Junior Boots can actually make them better at just about everything they do. Let’s find out how.

It’s Not Just About The Muscles

Yes, we’re a kids’ gym, and we certainly do focus on the exercise aspect of it quite a bit. But we have five pillars in our Junior Boots program that help children kindergarten through 8th grade become more rounded individuals (not physically, of course…we’re trying to make them less rounded!). Besides the obstacle course fitness we provide, kids will also be helped with their critical thinking as they make their way through a changing course. And they won’t be able to get through the course without improving their teamwork, something they’ll need in school and in the workforce. Leadership is also a focus of ours, ensuring that everyone discovers the way in which they can best lead. Finally, our methods improve the discipline of the children, as they’ll need to follow instructions to have the fun and feelings of accomplishment necessary to complete the course with their team.

Because our activities help the whole child, our obstacle course program can also help with other activities. Let’s investigate.

It Helps With Other Sports

We’re not saying that just because your kid participates in our Junior Boots program that they can’t be in other sports. Our schedule is pretty easy to keep, allowing for many school sports to be participated in as well.

But our obstacle course fitness can actually help with a child’s performance in other sports. The climbing we do strengthens bones and muscles. It also improves balance and their proprioception, which translates well to just about every other sport out there. Of course, getting the heart moving is a great way improve endurance and cardio.

How specifically can an obstacle course help with other sports?

  • Football – Improved balance and awareness when running backward or trying to stay in bounds, increased jumping ability
  • Baseketball – Increased jumping ability, better hand/eye coordination, increased cardio, improved flexibility
  • Tennis – Hand/eye coordination, stopping on a dime
  • Lacross – Netter cardio, hand/eye coordination
  • Soccer – Netter eye/foot coordination, improved cardio
  • Baseball – Netter hand/eye coordination, improved short-term bursts of energy
  • Hockey – Netter balance on the skates, eye/hand coordination, improved flexibility

On top of that, our kids’ fitness program also increases cooperation that comes with being part of a team. That’s going to help on every team sport out there, as is the leadership part of our five pillars. It will also help in all sports because our changing obstacle course makes kids always be aware of their surroundings and improve reaction time.

It’s Safer Than Many Other Sports

To tell the truth, our kids’ gym is a very safe place. While there’s a lot of climbing, it’s supervised and seldom done alone (that’s where the teamwork thing comes in).

On the other hand, there are the obvious dangers associated with football (concussions, CTE, broken bones), basketball (bloody noses from flying elbows), baseball (hard balls hurtling at 70 miles per hour), soccer (tripping, heading the ball), and hockey (pretty darned violent all around). Tennis is the only one we’re going to let off the hook. Not a lot of injuries in tennis. (Wait, we forgot about tennis elbow!)

And It Helps With Other Activities

Here’s the great thing about the five pillars mentioned above. They’re not only great at improving performance in the sports we mentioned above, but in just about any activity out there. Here’s how it can work.

  • Choir – Increased lung capacity, leadership and teamwork improvements
  • Band – Increased lung capacity, increased discipline and proprioception for marching band
  • Dance – Increased endurance, stronger muscles and bones, improved flexibility
  • Chess – Improved critical thinking skills, discipline
  • Lego Robotics – Improved critical thinking skills, improved leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Swim Team –  Increase muscle mass, improved flexibility, improved teamwork
  • Martial Arts – Improved flexibility, stronger muscles and bones

Lifelong Advantages

The five pillars we detailed above can be helpful throughout one’s life. Think about what you do for work, or even in the daily interactions you have with people around Northbrook. Sometimes the jobs are physical, like construction (fitness, teamwork, and critical thinking). If you’re a supervisor, you have to get the team to do what you want (teamwork, critical thinking, leadership). Working in any office requires you to get along with people (teamwork) and use your brains to get the job done (critical thinking). And every job out there requires discipline so that you don’t quit every time the tiniest thing goes wrong! Discipline is also helpful to help keep you on task even when there are distractions around) What we teach the kids today can go a long way to having them have successful careers in the future.

When it comes right down to it, our kids’ gym is great on its own. But as you can see from the lists above, our five pillars — fitness, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, discipline — can help a child with their sports and their other activities. But even better is the fact that they will have skills that can help them with their schoolwork and throughout their lives. We’d love to help your children develop these skills at our kids’ gym in Northbrook. Check out the Hot Ground Gym schedule right here!