Want to Boost Brain Power? Move it!

by ih-chi admin

Many of us vow to get more exercise with the start of a new year. For as much time as we parents spend getting ourselves to the gym or squeezing in a run, we should also spend encouraging our children to get moving.

You already know the countless health benefits of exercise. For kids, add better brain function, higher self-esteem and improved academic performance. The CDC recommends that all kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

It’s really a no-brainer.

Many schools now offer several opportunities for physical activity throughout the day, besides just P.E. class, including running laps to complete a marathon, playing innovative games like “math hopscotch,” or doing jumping jacks during test breaks or while reciting facts.  Studies show that even a 10-minute burst of physical activity can increase a child’s attention and productivity in the classroom.

With schools now upping their game during the day, what can parents do at home to make sure our children are getting the physical activity that their growing and energetic bodies need?

Here are a few easy ways to sneak in some extra exercise:

  • Walk or ride bikes to school. If that’s not feasible, drive to a location a few blocks away, park, and then hoof it the rest of the way.
  • Add push-ups, jumping jacks, or fun little dance moves to your morning routine, either right before or after breakfast.
  • Jumping rope is also an easy way to use up some energy. Do it for a couple minutes before settling in to do homework in the afternoon or before dinner or bedtime.
  • Check out a popular children exercise videos online to get your kids moving.

If your kids require a little boost of encouragement, you might even offer small rewards for them to earn after doing so many minutes of a certain activity. 

(Adapted from Psychology Today)