Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why Gymnastics Is Good For Kids’ Academics

Did you know that children’s weight and physical activity levels can affect their thinking and learning skills?

Researchers gathered 45 children aged 7 to 11 with normal weight. 24 children were physically active while 21 of them were not. Those children who are active are part of sports like gymnastics, swimming, soccer, or dance, which they do for more than an hour in 1 week.

The study also gathered children who are overweight and inactive.

As it normally is, kids with normal weight and who are active had less body fat, and a lower resting heart rate compared to inactive and overweight children.

However, the researchers also observed that children with normal weight and who are physically active did better on mental skill test in comparison to those who are inactive. The test includes planning and paying attention.

On the other hand, as the study found an association between physical activities and mental skills in children, it did not find a cause-and-effect relationship.

According Medical College of Georgia health psychologist Catherine Davis, “Activity made a difference even among normal-weight kids. That verifies that physical activity makes a difference in brain function. If they can cut some of the empty calories out of their diet and pick up the pace on physical activity, they may grow into their weight.”

Catherine Davis also stated that the study focused on weight, but would probably be more accurate to look at the amount of body fat in children. In the study, overweight kids had more fat that weighing more because of extra muscle mass.

Others suggest that future studies should also include children who are overweight but physically active, just to see if their mental skills also benefit from physical activity, also to learn more about how kids’ brain health are affected by their weight and exercise activities.

The Exercise-Effect on Academics

Sports and physical activity are generally linked with positive effects on children’s physical health. It is believed that a regular participation in physical activity is associated to enhancement of brain function and cognition, which positively affects academic performance.

Yes, exercise is good for cognition and here are some reasons why:

  • Increased blood and oxygen flow to the brain
  • Extended levels of norepinephrine and endorphins reduce stress and improves mood
  • Increased growth factors can help make new nerve cells and support synaptic plasticity
Those are just some of the reasons why exercise benefits children’s academic skills. The rising pressures to improve academic scores which often lead to instructional time for subjects, including mathematics and language, at the cost of time for being physically active.

Exercise is one of the biggest factors children need, but unfortunately, most kids are not exercised enough. If you still do not consider exercising important for your child, here are some reasons why you should:

1. Physical activities reduce the risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes

2. Being physically active improves immune system function

3. Physical activities improve children’s sleep and mood

4. Sports help children’s bones become stronger

5. Sports can decrease restlessness or hyperactivity

6. Being physically active reduces ADHD symptoms

7. Physical activities balance weight

As stated by University of Chicago Psychology Professor Sian Beilock, “We show that non-language related activities, such as playing or watching a sport, enhance one’s ability to understand language about their sport precisely because brain areas normally used to act become highly involved in language understanding. Sports Experience Enhances the Neural Processing of Action Language.”

“Experience playing and watching sports has enduring effects on language understanding by changing the neural networks that support comprehension to incorporate areas active in performing sports skills,” Professor Beilock added.

In conclusion, regular physical activities or sports are essential for children’s needs. Not just to improve their body appearance, but also to improve their mental skills and critical thinking.

Gymnastics also does a great job for helping your kids boost their physical activities, so if you’re looking for a school that can give your child the best training experience, you could try and check Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy. With our state-of-the-art training facility, fun and exciting training sessions, and extensive knowledge and experience of our head coach — Bianka Panova, we can ensure that your child will receive the highest quality of training and education. Enroll now and learn gymnastics for kids with us!

Friday, March 24, 2017

10th Doha World Cup Finalists, Ready For The Last Match

The 10th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup has taken off in Aspire Dome, Doha, Qatar on March 22 and is scheduled to last until the 25th. The qualifying round has been done and a lot of the big names have made it into the finals. Of course, the newcomers also showcased their talents and some of them have made it into the finals as well.

So far, one of the many promising athletes in the competition was China’s Liu Tingting who appeared to be in top form. She qualified for the finals by being the second on uneven bars but the top in women’s floor exercise and balance beam. Tingting missed last year’s Rio Olympics due to injuries, but the 15-year-old did amazingly well at the Melbourne leg last month, and she was determined to continue her good record into Doha World Cup.

Close on Tingting’s heels in what seemed to be at almost all of the events is Australia’s Emily Little, who participated at the 2012 London Games. Little took her share of gold, silver and bronze from the Melbourne World Cup like Tingting and she was recorded to be saying that, “It’s always an honour to represent my country. I look forward to pick up some medals in Doha.”

So far, Little has qualified into the finals by being second in floor exercise and third in women’s vault and balance beam. Who went ahead of her to take the second spot on the balance beam to qualify for the finals was 2004 Olympic Champion from Romania, Catalina Ponor. Three days before the Doha event, Ponor has bagged two gold medals at the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan. “I hope to maintain the good show in Doha,” Ponor said.

Another one of the big names in this event was Uzbek veteran Oksana Chusovitina, who also squeezed into the finals by being second on women’s vault, behind China’s Wang Yan who was a bronze medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games. There are doubts if Yan can still compete for the finals, as she injured herself in one of her tumbling passes on the floor exercise during the qualifications.

Elsewhere, the men’s artistic gymnastics competition was led by Hungary’s 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Krisztian Berki, who qualified for the finals by dominating once again the pommel horse. Next to him was China’s Zou Jingyuan and Croatia’s Ude Filip respectively. Jingyuan was also first in parallel bars, followed by Switzerland’s Pablo Brägger and Turkey’s Ferhat Arican

The Australian team managed to get in male representatives as Christopher Remkes qualified by being third in men’s vault while teammate Clay Mason Stephens was on sixth. Compatriot Mitchell Morgans was also second on high bar.

For a complete list of finalists, visit FIG’s twitter account.

Be the first to know the winners of the 10th Doha World Cup by following our official blogs and social media sites. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us! Come and experience world class training and education!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

AGF Trophy 2017 Concludes In Baku

After the qualifications last weekdays, the FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup called AGF Trophy or World Cup in Baku concluded over the weekend in its host country, Azerbaijan.

This is not the first time Baku has hosted huge gymnastics competitions for FIG, and this time a lot of Olympians have emerged victors in their respective apparatus signature. To start off, probably the oldest in the event and the one with the most experience under her belt—a record SEVEN Olympic Games!—was 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina from Uzbekistan who didn’t show any signs of slowing down.

In the qualifications and finals, the 1992 Olympic team gold medalist dominated the vault with an astounding performance, and this is done without even attempting the very difficult Produnova vault that she tried in last summer’s Rio. Second to Chusovitina on vault was Australia’s pride, another Olympian Emily Little, followed by the bronze medalist from Slovenia, Teja Belak.

Another experienced competitor was five-time Olympic medalist, Romania’s Catalina Ponor. Albeit leaving Rio without any shiny remembrance, the 29-year-old blasted her competitions on balance beam and floor in both the qualifications and finals without much struggles in this competition. She has boasted her skills in AGF Trophy as a preparation for the European Championships next month, which is going to be held in Romania after sixty years.

Silver and bronze on balance beam was Vasiliki Millousi of Greece and AUS’ Little respectively, whilst on the floor Little once again stole the silver, leaving the host country’s representative Marina Nekrasova with the bronze.

Amidst all these experienced artistic gymnasts, a newcomer has emerged victor as well. Ukraine’s Diana Varinska, a first-year senior in her first World Cup competition, bagged the gold in uneven bars by showing her lovely forms, giving life to the wonders that maybe Ukraine is going to rise in women’s gymnastics once again. Varinska left the silver and bronze to the two Australians, Rianna Mizzen and Georgia-Rose Brown respectively.

Men’s Finals Results

Of course, if the women’s division showed great strength, the men’s division leveled that as well. On the lead was, dubbed “Lord of the Rings” after proving to be the best in the apparatus all around the world in 2015, Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounias who clinched the gold once again in his signature event. He is also aiming for the European Championships next month.

Petrounias’ win on the rings left the challengers from Japan (Kazuyuki Takeda) and Ukraine (Yevgen Yudenkov) with the silver and bronze respectively.

However, not all Olympians had the same fate as Petrounias. Although he was the 2012 Olympic champion, Hungary’s Krisztian Berki was defeated on the pommel horse as China’s Weng Hao bagged the gold, leaving him for silver. On the third was Croatia’s Filip Ude.

Hao’s teammates, Rongbing Liu and Youxiao He also took home the gold and silver respectively on the parallel bars, leaving Japan’s Shogo Nonomura for the bronze, showing that maybe China could win once again versus the Japanese on the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Elsewhere, another Japanese clinched gold at the horizontal bar, Naoto Hayasaka. He was followed by Anton Kovacevic from Croatia and Tomas Kuzmickas from Lithuania. At the vault, AUS’ Christopher Remkes finally got his gold after falling on the second in front of his home crowd in Melbourne last month. Belarusian Pavel Bulauski and France’s Zachari Hrimeche took the silver and the bronze respectively. Kuzmickas, who joined three event finals, was awarded once again by gold this time on the floor exercise, leaving Bulauski and Hayasaka on the remaining two spots.

Keep up with the latest news and updates about the sport of gymnastics by following our official blogs and social media sites. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us! Come and experience world class training and education!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Victoria Filanovsky, Baltic Hoop All-Around Champion

Israel’s Victoria Filanovsky twirled her way to the highest top of the All-Around podium on the Baltic Hoop International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament held in Riga, Latvia on March 11 to 13, 2017.

Despite placing 10th in the All-around competition of the recently concluded 2017 Grand Prix Moscow, Filanovsky has now become the champion in All-Around this time with a score of 17.500 on hoop, 18.550 on ball, 17.600 on clubs and 14.900 on ribbon events, accumulating to a total score of 68.550. Her total is an astounding five point away from the silver medalist from Belarus, Yuljya Isachanka, who has 63.350. Bronze medalist Julia Evchik, from Belarus as well, was behind with a 62.200 point.

For the individual apparatus competition, Filanovsky only won the gold on ribbons while Belarusians Evchik and Isachanka led on hoop and ball respectively. Finally, Estonia’s Olga Bogdanova snatched the gold on clubs.

The host country, Latvia’s team led in the All-around with their five hoops, three balls and 3 ropes. They are also the hot ticket at the Ludmila Kachkalda Memorial Cup, a concurrently held group competition which is named after Latvia’s most famous rhythmic gymnast. Second to them was Finlad’s team and on the third was team Poland.

Baltic Hoop is one of the international events approved by International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for this year and it doesn’t just surround the Baltic Sea as it has already reached other countries all around the world. This is the first greatest event for many young gymnasts in Latvia.

For a full list of results, click here.

Keep up with the latest news and updates about the sport of gymnastics by following our official blogs and social media sites. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us! Come and experience world class training and education!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

RG Legend Petrova Cheers Bulgarians For European Championships

This year the 33rd Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships has already been announced to be held at Budapest, Hungary on May 19 to 21. In line with this event, the draw for this was held last weekend. One of the members of European Union of Gymnastics’ (UEG) technical committee who attended this draw was Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics legend Maria Petrova and she answered some questions from Hungary’s sports daily, the Nemzeti Sport.

Petrova has something to say about the International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG) newly edited Code of Points (CoP). She thinks the new CoP was better than the old one, because now there is a balance between the work of the body, the work with the apparatus and the artistic part of the sport, which the old CoP didn’t seem to have. Petrova said that for a moment RG lost that artistry and that there used to be a code where audiences couldn’t even see the face of the gymnasts, since they were just doing one element after another. The new code abolishes that, because it will give more possibilities to more gymnasts to be successful, not only just a few of them, as Petrova believes RG is not only for a few countries but the whole world.

Aside from the CoP, there is another change in the sport of RG, and that is the music accompaniments for routines. Petrova liked this change so much because she believes that if a gymnast is dancing to music with lyrics, she has much more possibilities with the variety of music. Sometimes the words give more intensity to the routines and it can make a connection between how the gymnast performs and what the crowd understands. If the fans know the songs, that is another level of connection, and they would also have more fun.

During this line of questioning, Petrova had a short flashback to the kind of music RG used during her time. She said that pianists used to travel with the gymnastics team all the time. In every competition there was a piano and all teams have their own pianists who would play for them. It was convenient at that time because sometimes the gymnast was late to the music and the pianist can slow down to wait for her.

Maria Petrova is a retired gymnast herself, and when she was asked who among the retired gymnasts she would miss, it wasn’t quite a surprise when she said she loved the gymnastics of Yana Kudryavtseva who retired in January and Margarita Mamun who was rumored to have retired as well, although she said in an interview that she was just resting her injured back. Petrova said she loved both and she would miss them for sure.

Although her favorite gymnasts as of the moment are Russians, Petrova still supports the country she represented during her time, Bulgaria. She still hopes that the Bulgarians will do well in this new cycle even if the European Championships is completely changed. The golden legacy of the Bulgarian RG should be a motivation, Petrova said, because RG is what they loved to do. There was a period in which Bulgarians have lost power, but Petrova was positive that they are now standing up and that they will be hard competitors for the other rivals.

Ever since the European Championships has been held in 1978 until 2016, at the senior events Bulgaria has had a total of 44 gold, 24 silver and 35 bronze. Russia was ahead of them with 92 gold, 37 silver and 22 bronze.

Keep up with the latest news and updates about the sport of gymnastics by following our official blogs and social media sites. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us! Come and experience world class training and education!