Learn How You Can Improve Your Child's Vestibular System and Proprioception at an Adventure Summer Camp
Adventure activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, caving, wakeboarding, water skiing and horseback riding are ideal developmental mediums for balance, body awareness, and coordination. This includes bilateral integration which is the use of both sides of our body at the same time). These adventure activities require balance and coordination, and as you improve and develope withing these sports the levels of balance and coodination needed continues to rise. Most of us learn about the 5 basic “extrinsic” senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Many of us do not learn about two very important “hidden intrinsic” senses known as the vestibular and proprioceptive senses.
This blog post is intended to act as an introduction to understanding your vestibular system/sense (balance and coordination), proprioception (body awareness) and their inherent relationship to adventure activities, and how adventure activities require you to maximize your potential if you are to continue developing with them.
The American urban and sub-urban environments do not tend to offer many opportunities to get to know, and thus, master our ability to balance and coordinate our whole selves. Nor, does our success in everyday societal life tend to depend on our amount of body awareness. Balance and body awareness are experientially learned abilities, meaning if you never experience them you will never develop them. Continued exposure and experience gives us opportunities to learn about, assess, and master…most anything! Crawling, childhood play, and organized sports is where most of our relationships begin and end with balance, body awareness and coordination. This lack of exposure in most Americans everyday life to activities and experiences that require an understanding and extensive use of balance (amoung other things) is exactly why adventure based activities are so important! To maximize your overall potential as a human being, you have to address your understanding of, and relationship with balance, body awareness and coordination. Period.
Staying balanced over a wakeboard, precarious rock climbing footholds on a crag, a mountain bike or skis requires constant balance, body awareness and coordination. Everyday common tasks such as sitting at your desk or in front of your television, walking to your car or class ordriving pushes you very little to get better at balancing, or getting to know yourself at all in any really valuable way. Adventure activities force you to get to know yourself at an expedited rate, compared to modern everyday societal life. Attending one of the many overnight adventure summer camps for teens that offer adventure activities is a fantastic way to have the opportunity to be exposed to these activities.