Time management and setting priorities is not something we are born with. It is something we learn with time. Until that point, we need someone else to take care of it for us. And when we become parents ourselves, we need to plan our children’ schedules until they learn how to do it themselves.
When trying to sort out the ultimate and balanced life rhythm for our child, we inevitably confront a dilemma: brain or muscle. Should we focus on developing a strong and healthy body of our child, and resort to language and math skills development, when s/he has had enough running and jumping, or – favor intellectual development over physical.
Academics Or Exercise?
Many of us have noticed that just sitting at the office and doing your job, without ever getting up and / or stretching your limbs every once in a while, is quite challenging, and you inevitably fall into some kind of brain freeze. What helps in such situations is a little exercise – a brief walk, a little stretch, a few squats… And – voila, you are ready to go on with your duties.
Well, as much as it may seem obvious to some, children are no different in this regard. Research has shown that having some physical exercise in between or even during classes increases the academic performance of students and their problem-solving abilities.
As you can see, when it comes to human biology, physical development does not conflict with intellectual development, but quite the contrary – it literally stimulates a child’s brain, thus helping the kids to better develop mentally and perform better at school. So, physical and intellectual development actually go hand in hand. As said by the Roman poet Juvenal, a healthy mind is in a healthy body.
How Does It Work?
This is not too complicated. Physical exercise makes the blood in your veins flow faster, thus increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain. And, as we know, oxygen is vital to the brain’s performance, it’s like the fuel on which the brain runs.
Besides, animal tests have demonstrated that physical exercise encourages the neurons to multiply faster, thus also strengthening their interconnections, helping you to think “faster.”
So, since it affects the cardiovascular and nervous systems, we get two bonus effects in the long run: the risk of cardiovascular diseases is reduced, and the neurons become less vulnerable.
How Do We Encourage Our Kids To Move
first of all, take your time and think of a good way to explain your children the benefits of being active. You should be familiar enough with your kid to know how to put it in a way that he or she understands it.
Then, allow them to choose which activities they are particularly interested in. In most cases, then there is no need to do specific exercises for a specific amount of time. A regular bike ride, a dance class, or even just playing tag with the friends will do just fine.
Mind that while the exercise does need to be regular, we don’t need to stick to just one thing. If your son didn’t like soccer – fine, maybe he will like baseball better.
What is really important is keeping the exercises regular. And for that purpose, it is highly recommended to start at an early age, as early as possible. This way, it is much easier to build a habit to stick to it later.
As you can see, there is no conflict between the physical and intellectual development of a growing person. In fact, these two aspects rather complement each other. They are like two sides of one coin.
But whereas back in the days the parents had to do their best to keep their children out of the streets when the lights go out (like your parents probably did), now it is harder to get them away from their TV / computer / phone / tablet. The number of people living with obesity under 18 years old has quadrupled over the past 50 years. This means that now is the time for the parents to apply all effort to encourage their children to go out more (within reasonable bounds, of course) and get their bodies moving. As this article has pointed out, this will not only improve the children’ health but also provide for the better performance at school.
Alice Jones is a tutor and freelance writer, who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She also loves inspiring and motivating people and has spent the last 5 years improving and helping the others to improve. Follow Alice on Twitter, Google+, or find her in other social media, pop in there and say “Hi” to her!
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