Dec 172017
 
Many parents sign their children up for sports when they areas young as three years old, and there are many options available even for kindergarten-age kids. That is a good thing in principle, says Katja Schmitt, a professor at the Sports Science Institute in Berlins Humboldt University, Germany. Exercise not only builds the childs muscles, but it also develops coordination and motor skills, Schmitt says. Social skills also playan important role in sports, particularly team disciplines such asfootball or handball. Studies have also proven that sport boosts childrens ability toconcentrate, the expert says. In a nutshell, sports is good for young children too, particularlywhen it is played in groups. Competition does not play a major role in kindergarten sports, says Ilona E. Gerling, a sports teacher at the German Sport University in Cologne. For her, however, not all sports are good for kindergarten-age kids. At this age, children should mainly try out disciplines that involve natural and playful body movements, she notes. If children start too early with sports that train only a certain muscle group, they can damage their bones. For this reason, it is important for them to get a full body workout. Childrens gymnastics is good for kids who are just starting outat sports. Nicole Gressner of the Berlin Gym And Recreational Sports Association, teaches such an activity and recommends it. Gymnastics simply provides a very good foundation for all other sports, she explains. dpa

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