Parallel bars are a type of exercise equipment that consists of two straight bars of the same length that are parallel to each other and positioned at the same height. They are popularly used in physical therapy, artistic gymnastics, as well as home exercise. When people think of exercise equipment for children, parallel bars may not be the first thing that comes to their minds. However, this exercise apparatus offers a great number of benefits for young children. In fact, parallel bars have a unique tendency to encourage children to challenge themselves, physically, mentally as well as intellectually.
Parallel bars provide physical challenges
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that young child should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and that they should engage in muscle strengthening exercises three days in a week. Doing dips with parallel bars is one the best ways to facilitate strength training in children. It is not too strenuous or dangerous for children because they will be using their bodyweight when training with parallel bars. This allows them to build muscle strength without putting too much strain on their muscles and joints.
Parallel bars provide emotional challenges
Doing dips on parallel bars can be difficult and challenging, particularly for young children who are attempting strength training for the first time in their life. They may be demoralized and tempted to give up. However, this emotional challenge provides a learning opportunity for young children. It teaches them how to work towards a desired goal. It teaches them not to give up and to always try their best. Eventually, when they build the muscle strength to do dips on the parallel bars with ease, it will teach them that they can achieve most things through hard work and that they are full of potential. This will in turn enhance their self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
Parallel bars provide intellectual challenges
Parallel bars are very simple in design as they literally only consist of two parallel bars. However, because of their basic and minimal design, they can be used in a wide variety of creative ways during exercise. Children realize this and are often fascinated by them. They like to explore different types of activities that they can do with parallel bars. For example, children like to hang from them using their arms, hang upside down from them using their legs, swing from them, and even stand on top of them. As children figure out various ways to hang and swing from parallel bars, they are actively using critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as exercising their creativity.
Encouraging your child to use parallel bars
One of the best ways to encourage your children to use the parallel bars is to let them see you and other members of the family exercising with it. Children love to imitate the people around them and they are naturally curious. Seeing you use parallel bars will cause them to want to follow your example by exercising with parallel bars themselves. This is a win-win situation as the whole family will be able to get in regular exercise via the parallel bars.
Safety when using parallel bars
Children love to use parallel bars in strange and creativity ways, and this should not be discouraged as it allows them to use their imaginations, test their capabilities and to learn through taking risks. Instead, to ensure their safety, parents can install safety mats under parallel bars to protect their children from injury if they fall. Adult supervision should also be provided when children want to try new ways of using parallel bars, to ensure that they do not do anything overly dangerous.