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Is Cheerleading a Sport or a Fitness Program?
Posted By Co-Founder On November 8, 2009 @ 9:43 pm In aerobics | No Comments
For years the same question has been asked all over the country – “Is Cheerleading a Sport or a Glamorized Fitness Program? There are varying answers to this question, most answers are a matter of personal opinion, but the fact remains that Cheer leading has so many components which makes it an extreme fitness program. When cheerleader coaches have been asked if this is a fitness program or a sport, the majority of them agree that it is both a fitness program as well as a sport.
In 2007 a study was done on injuries from cheerleading accidents and the same injuries happen in hockey and football.
Some of those injuries range from mild to severe and include the following:
These lacerations, sprains and strains are not life threatening but they can be very painful and cause disruption amongst cheerleaders if the wrong person gets hurt.
Spinal cord and neck injuries are mainly seen in cheerleaders who are at the top of the pyramid or stunt, the ones who are in the air or close to the upper half of the stunt are at the highest risk, due to the amount of distance from the top to the ground, this type of fall can have a crushing impact on a person no matter how strong they are.
The reason for these major injuries is due to the lack of gear or protection given to the girls. Football and hockey players have sufficient gear to lessen the impact of an injury however with cheerleaders they only have shirt, skort and shoes to wear with no gear to protect them from injury.
In the year 2000 the movie “Bring it on” hit the theaters and motivated a lot of girls to become cheerleaders as they wanted to be like the actresses in the movie. Approximately 50% of these girls sustained injuries – the movie made it look so easy but in reality it is a vigorous workout  which works every muscle group in your body. Like any other sport this takes commitment, stamina and training to be successful, not everyone can keep up to the pace like they can in other fitness programs.
With every great fitness program comes a healthy eating lifestyle – not a diet plan. Athletes in this arena are suppose to eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and lots of greens like salads. The foods the girls are asked to avoid are sugar drinks (ie: pop, juice with added sugar), junk food, fast food and foods with high fat content. This is to keep the athletes body in shape and of course looking good.
In no way is this article meant to discourage young girls from entering into cheer leading, we are simply presenting the facts, precautions and dangers along with the commitment needed to be a cheerleader. If you are thinking this is for you then go for it and be the best you can be. The key is to be careful and remember your team counts on you to support your other team members regardless of likes and dislikes.
Tags:aerobic exercise ,cheerleader ,cheerleading ,is cheerleading a sport ,neck injury ,spinal cord injury 
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