The exercise component is essential when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy body. Not only does exercise provide cardiovascular benefits, strengthen bones and build muscle, it also plays an important role in improving moods and helping prepare our brains to learn.
As our culture becomes more sedentary due to modern conveniences we use for transportation, communication as well as recreation, physical activity is not as second nature as it was at one time. Because of this, we have to be more creative on how we can implement exercise into our daily lives. Organized sports, our local recreation centers, and simply finding activities that our children enjoy that involve moving their bodies, are ways that we can promote being active.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids get 60 minutes of exercise a day. These 60 minutes will look different depending on each child’s interests and individual circumstances. We also know that our weather plays a key role in our exercise options. When the weather forces us to stay inside, we can visit our local Recreation centers or YMCA facility. These centers often offer work out facilities and various exercise classes. Some also offer indoor pools that provide swim lessons and open family swim hours at a minimal fee. It’s important to expose our kids to a variety of activities so that they see exercise as something they enjoy and look forward to doing. Helping our children live an active life will expose them to all of the physical and mental benefits that exercise promotes and will help them learn healthy tools in managing stress and growing into their full potential.
Children’s bodies and minds are growing from birth until about age 23. Good nutrition is important for strong bodies and strong brains to learn. Schools have mandates for a balances school lunch program. Good food choices start at home. Make plans to work as a family to have nutritious meals and choices at home. Below are references to help families move forward to good food that helps make wise nutrition choices. There are sites for those with special health needs so everyone benefits healthfully with reliable information.
A student’s performance during the day is affected by the amount of quality sleep obtained and is linked to chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, as well as affecting the effective treatment of those diseases. Students that are chronically fatigued may also struggled with inability to focus and stay on task, and to participate and complete classwork.
Sleep requirements change as a person ages:
- Preschool-11-12 hours per day
- School age-At least 10 hours per day
- Teens-9-10 hours per day
Sleep loss on a daily basis is accumulative over the period of a week, and is known as “sleep debt”. Attempting to decrease the sleep debt by sleeping late on days off, or napping, is ineffective, and can result in altering the body clock. If a student appears to be getting the recommended amount of quality sleep, and still appears fatigued, medical assessment should be obtained.