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Active Kids Perform Better In School

It doesn’t take a lot of activity to get the brain fired up.   Researchers have found moderate activity-like a brisk walk around the neighborhood-increases brain activity.  This in turn, when your child goes to school, can translate into better test performance.  Simply put, physical activity will help kids learn better.  Take a look at this brain scan of a child sitting quietly for 20 minutes versus walking for 20 minutes.  After the child walks for 20 minutes, his/her brain lights up with activity.  Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.15.11 PM

So if physical activity will help your child in the classroom, then as parents it is our job to find ways to get our kids active.  The best way is to lead by example.  We have come up with a list of active activities that you can do with the entire family.

 

Walk or ride your bike to school

  • There is no better way to get active for class time then to walk or ride your bike to school.  Walk or ride with your child if you are able to.  This will give you time to talk with your kids and lead by example.

Make a weekend activity calendar

  • Map out what kind of active activities you will do over the week and weekends.  Display the calendar in a public area, like the kitchen or living room, and cross off the activities once they’re done.  This will show the family what is coming up and what you have done.

Make family time active time

  • Instead of watching TV after dinner, go for a bike ride or a walk around the neighborhood.  Play a game of family basketball or other group sport.

Think outside the field

  • Maybe your children don’t like traditional sports like football, basketball or soccer.  Try alternative sports like rock climbing, hiking, swimming or martial arts.  Find out what your children enjoy and stick with that.

Take advantage of your local parks

  • Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville have beautiful parks.  Make a family trip to the park and take advantage of these free, fun activities.

 

What other ways do you like to stay active with your family?   Tell us in the comments below, post it on our Facebook or tweet us at @HealthyKids2Day.

Being An Active Family

Play-M0211aitlandHealthy kids are active kids, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is important for them to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  But many times children don’t get that much physical activity at school leaving it up to parents to make sure they are active at home.  So, how do families become more active?  Healthy Kids Today had compiled three simple tips for how you can become a more active family.

Identify different types of fun physical activities

  • Try a variety of activities.  Every family is different.  Sit down with family members and make a list of activities you think might be fun for everyone.  This could include anything from jump rope, and dancing to gardening or even kick ball.

Lead by example

  • As a parent, it is important to model the behavior that you want to see your children exhibit.  After you identify the fun activities, take charge and make sure to schedule time to do them.  Also, incorporate being active into everyday life.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator or bike to your destination instead of driving.

Limit screen time

  • Determine an appropriate amount of screen time for your family.  Once you establish what works for you and your children, limit screen time to that amount.  Screen time includes watching TV, being on the computer, playing video games and mobile devices, such as tablets and phones.

Added together, these simple changes can make a big difference in family life and health.  Although it might be hard to fit 60 consecutive minutes of physical activity into the day, remember it is OK to tackle the goal in pieces.  If you can only get in a 30-minute walk after school, follow that up later in the day with another 30 minutes of activity.  It is up to parents to ensure their families are staying active.  Comment below and tells us how you plan to make your family more active.

 

 

 

 

Get The Entire Family Active

B&GClub0026Getting enough physical activity into your child’s day is critical for their development as a healthy individual.  Studies show that those who feel supported by friends and family to be active, or surrounded by others interested in physical activity, are more likely to be active themselves.  This is where you as parents can step in.  There are many ways, as parents, that you can encourage physical activity.  Children need at least 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day.  It doesn’t have to be all at once, you can space it out over the day.  We have listed a few activities and steps that you and your family can take to be more active.

 

  1. Give children toys that encourage physical activity such as balls, kites and jump ropes.
  2. Encourage children to join a sports team or try a new physical activity.
  3. Limit TV time and keep TV out of a child’s bedroom.
  4. Walk to and from school a few times a week.
  5. Encourage your children to take the stairs instead of the elevator and take them yourselves – leading by example is always best.
  6. After meal times, take a walk around the block.
  7. Make family time active fun time.  Go for a family bike ride, swim, walk or play a sport together.
  8. Work with your schools to increase physical activity.  Write letters to your principal, school board and super intendant about the need for incorporating more physical activity into the school day.