Gymnastics is a beautiful sport that is perfected through movement and music. It is mesmerizing to watch and enjoy. However, like any other sport, there are many risks with gymnastics, probably more risks than most.
At times, gymnasts can sustain some serious injuries and the biggest concern is the age of the contestants. Gymnasts between ages 11 up to 15 are the most susceptible.
When an injury occurs they usually take place on the knee, ankle and wrist. The risk factors are increased if the gymnasts were age older than 12. Other risk factors are if gymnasts trained 8 or more hours a week. Gymnastics is one of the highest rated sports with the most injuries for girls because their bones are more brittle and porous. The possibility of injury while training or performing at a competition is very high. At times, these injuries can occur on the knee, feet or ankles. The can severally influence their performance or training days or weeks.
The bars and the high bars can cause the palms of the hands to rip. After every recovery, the skin gets stronger and stronger and can make their hands very rough.
Pressure to Eating and Diet Disorders
Gymnasts need to stay in great physical shape and that means eating correctly. If a gymnast is light weight, then their movements are higher and their landings are softer. In some cases, the gymnasts expose themselves to extreme dieting. The concerns with this can be a serious threat to young gymnasts. The burden to stay thin in gymnastics can lead to eating sicknesses and stunted development. It can also have long-lasting, psychological effects on the gymnasts. More than half of the gymnasts who were studied on had been discovered to have eating disorders.
Girls in gymnastics are susceptible to late puberty. The can be caused due to their low weight and training methods. These girls often get their periods late or stop menstruating for all together. Both boys and girls are vulnerable to delayed growth due to over training, extreme dieting and the dangerous stress that is associated with gymnastics. Constant muscle stretching can cause growth to slow down or stop and another side-effect is that it reduces the growth of breasts for female athletes.
Due to the demands of training and competitions in gymnastics, the average age for teenagers that does gymnastics competing for competitions is about 16. The gymnast then has very little or no time for a proper education. The hours that a gymnast trains every day is huge. Some places, like academies for sports, try to ensure that there is a balance between training and studying however not all participants are in academies.
There is a lot of pressure and hard work that can cause stress and at the age the gymnasts start training, it is not healthy for them to experience that amount. Finding ways top distress and relax is often impossible with their schedules, however, is quite necessary and needs to be taken seriously.