Looking for a Fun Family Exercise? How About Parkour!
What is Parkour?
To some, Parkour is the most empowering force in their life. To others, it’s a cross between gymnastics and martial arts. To Wikipedia, it is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training involving running, jumping, climbing, swinging, rolling, vaulting and other movements. To social media, it is art in which daredevils use our environments landscape as inspiration to perform the most amazing movements. To some special needs children, it is a fun exercise they can participate in with their siblings and parents.
In Boulder, CO, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Natalie McKechnie Mannherz & Parkour Instructor/ Co-owner of Superhuman Academy, Nick Zaleski, combined forces to run a parkour program for families and children with special needs in an effort to facilitate a more interactive type of therapy in which family members can join, be active and be involved in learning the art of Parkour.
After taking a class, Natalie knew this would be the perfect activity for these children. She said that by “inviting the parents to participate it adds another layer of assistance if a child is showing increased dysregulation or is having a difficult time.”
Parkour as a Physical Exercise
You’d be pleasantly surprised to know that the movements of Parkour are quite like other exercises. You’re still doing your lunges and pushups and squats, but you are also wall climbing and jumping on things. You aren’t stationary while doing parkour, you are moving about the room, running from one obstacle course to another. Sounds like fun, right?
“Parkour stresses body awareness. Poor posture has become a known source for injury and pain. Many of parkour’s basic movements work to correct and bring to light these issues. Parkour then builds on this foundation with improved strength, coordination, and balance.”- Nick Zaleski
Let’s explore the physical benefits of Parkour:
- Builds core strength through high levels of movement
- Running and jumping works all the muscles, helping to develop bone strength
- Increased coordination, balance and agility through reaction time
- Strengthens your heart and increases stamina
- Burns excess Calories so you can lose weight
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