By Chelsey Bowermaster, Quad-City Fitness Blogger and Certified Personal Trainer at Two Rivers YMCA, Moline
With school starting, it gets more challenging to build lots of physical activity into children’s days. But we must, for their sake! In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a study on executive function (skills that include working memory, mental flexibility and self-control) as linked to exercise.
The study found that kids who were physically active throughout the day showed improvement on not only test scores, but in confidence levels, creativity and general decision making.
In the same study, students who were more sedentary showed lower executive function in all of the above areas.
Clearly, physical activity does more than help your kids stay physically healthy. It fuels the health of their brains, leaving them more alert and ready for the classroom!
So let’s get creative with a list of ways to get them (and us) moving:
1. Walk to school. Even if it means you walk with them, dedicate the extra half hour every morning to this crucial exercise. You’ll spend precious time together, and your children will reach school refreshed and ready to sit still and listen. (You will, too!)
2. Volunteer during recess times and encourage the kids to play ball, run, climb and keep moving.
3. Walk home from school. Again, it’s wonderful to spend this time together, talking about the day.
4. After school, turn the kids outside for creative free play with neighborhood friends. Riding bikes, playing basketball, creating forts and playing hide and seek are guaranteed to work their muscles, hearts and brains!
5. Family walks after supper can aid digestion and help everyone prepare for good sleep.
6. Reduce screen time!
A physically active life style begins at home. When you demonstrate your commitment to exercise – both by accompanying your kids and by doing it yourself – it helps fuel a healthy habit that can last a lifetime. So, lace up those sneakers and give your family an IQ boost!
|Meet Chelsey Bowermaster, Let’s Move Quad Cities Fitness Blogger. She has more than 7 years’ personal training experience and is the Healthy Lifestyles Director at the Two Rivers YMCA in Moline. You can read Chelsey’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|