Summer Fun – Good For The Brain & Body

Teens playing outsideThe summer slump can come on slowly. Symptoms are sleeping in until noon and spending much of the rest of the day in front of a computer or TV screen, or texting with friends.

None of this does much for the brain, or the body. But there is much parents can do to help their adolescents and teens avoid a summer slide. Last week we gave you some suggestions on how to get your kids to keep their brains and bodies fired up this summer, what is good for one is good for the other, and this week we’re back with more.

They are supplied by Beverly Engel, Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association®, Central and North Florida Chapter.

  • Research entirely new academic subjects—or brush up on familiar ones—by going to the Kahn Academy online. The Academy is a nonprofit focused on changing education by offering free courses to anyone anywhere. Check it out at khanacademy.org
  • For further brain inspiration, go to the website for TED, a nonprofit dedicated to presenting videos of “ideas worth spreading.”  Some of the most popular videos: how great leaders inspire action, underwater astonishments, the puzzle of motivation. These can inspire family conversations. Go to ted.com
  • Get involved with the Mid-Florida Milers. It plans and conducts walks in every part of Central Florida for all ages. Their goal is to provide events that are fun and challenging. Walks start in different locations. For more information, go to www.midfloridamilers.org.
  • Check out the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville which is home to more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. There is a wildlife drive, hiking trails and ranger- or self-guided tours. For more information, go to www.fws.gov/merrittisland.
  • Try your hands at a creative activity like making stained glass.
  • Get involved in volunteer work, which is not only good for the community, but according to researchers, good for brain health. Look for agencies, organizations or nonprofits performing work that inspires you.
  • Go to a movie together and discuss it afterward. Talk about moral lessons that were learned, for example, or what would have happened if a character had acted differently.
  • Other options include checking out local libraries to learn about an amazing number of activities ranging from hip hop lessons to book discussion clubs. There is even a Knotty Knitters club for all ages and skill levels at the Winter Park Public Library.
  • And lastly, but just as important, have fun together.