Less than a quarter of Americans are not meeting the national guidelines for physical activity, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Federal physical activity guidelines recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, and only 23 percent of Americans do.
When adults don’t get enough exercise, they have an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, things like balance and coordination decline with age due to a loss in muscle mass and strength. Not exercising can speed up this process and put people at risk for poor balance and coordination.
Fortunately, there are fun and creative ways to engage in physical activities that challenge balance and coordination. These skills are vital for both kids and adults. One exciting and effective way to develop balance and coordination is through obstacle courses. Let’s explore the significance of balance and coordination and how obstacle course training can help.
The Importance of Balance and Coordination
Balance and coordination are fundamental skills that play a crucial role in our daily lives. Whether it's walking, running or performing complex movements, these abilities contribute to our overall functionality and physical well-being.
- Balance refers to the ability to maintain a stable and upright position.
- Coordination involves the harmonious interaction of different body parts to execute certain movements.
Enhanced balance and coordination lead to improved posture, reduced risk of falls and injuries, increased athletic performance and heightened overall body awareness. These skills also have a positive impact on cognitive functions, including focus, concentration and spatial awareness.
Obstacle Course Training: A Gateway to Physical Mastery
Obstacle course training has gained significant popularity in recent years, with events like Tough Mudder and Spartan Race attracting participants from all walks of life. These courses consist of a variety of challenges, such as climbing walls, crawling under ropes, balancing on beams and navigating through tires. Engaging in obstacle course training provides an excellent opportunity to work on your balance and coordination while having a blast.
Obstacle courses provide a dynamic and comprehensive workout that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The diverse challenges target various body parts, including upper body strength for climbing, lower body power for jumping and core stability for balancing. By incorporating strength, endurance and flexibility, obstacle course training offers a well-rounded fitness regimen.
Obstacle courses often require traversing narrow beams, balancing on uneven surfaces and maneuvering through obstacles with stability. These activities strengthen the muscles responsible for balance, such as the core, legs and ankles. Regular practice improves proprioception (the sense of body position) and equilibrium, leading to increased overall balance.
Obstacle courses demand the synchronization of different body parts to overcome challenges. Climbing walls, jumping over hurdles and crawling under obstacles require precise coordination of movements. As you navigate through the course, you'll enhance your neuromuscular connections, leading to improved overall coordination and motor skills.
Fun and social interaction
Obstacle course training fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Many courses are designed for group participation, encouraging individuals to support and motivate each other. The fun and exhilaration of completing obstacles together create a positive and motivating environment. This is why many outdoor obstacle courses provide the perfect opportunity for multigenerational play.
Add an Obstacle Course to Your Community
Even though obstacle courses and outdoor fitness equipment are becoming more popular, they are still lacking in many communities. The good news is that any community can add a challenge course when they are ready. These courses work similar to any traditional park or playground, offering a wide range of equipment to engage children and families.
Cunningham Recreation is proud to offer GameTime’s preconfigured Challenge Course Pro and Challenge Course Youth.
- Challenge Course Pro is designed for users 13 and up. It’s a great way for teens and adults to enjoy a fun and competitive experience. The Pro is popular for middle/high schools, university fitness classes, sports training and community wellness.
- Challenge Course Youth is designed for kids ages 5 to 12. It offers the same obstacles as the Pro, but on a smaller scale. The Youth version is popular among elementary schools and community parks.
And if you are interested in custom designing your own obstacle course, that’s possible too!
To learn more about adding a challenge course to your community to promote good physical health and wellness, contact Cunningham Recreation today.