Have a big meeting coming up? Feeling anxious or depressed? Is your child ADHD? Do you or your child struggle with concentration? Then the answer is a close as your front door. Research done by Charles Hillman shows a 20% increase in brain activity after just 20 minutes of moderate walking. This means your brain is primed for learning and problem solving immediately after exercise.
Charles Hillman and Darla Castilli did research to determine what helps us learn and what factors contribute to our brain working as effectively as possible to solve problems. The top two factors they found are Body Mass Index and aerobic fitness. Their study included simple tasks and the groups were split into “fit kids” and “unfit kids”. The fit kids showed more activity in their brains during an activity than the unfit kids indicating that more neurons involved in attention were being recruited for a given task. The old adage, “Many hands makes light work” apparently applies to the brain and learning as well.
Movement is the basis for all learning and it starts from the moment we are born. Without proper time spent rolling, crawling and exploring their world, the higher functions of speech and problem solving can be delayed. So although your child doesn’t need baby bootcamp or toddler treadmill sessions, they do require a vast majority of their day being able to move around and explore. And the more environments the better. So let your older baby and toddler play in the sand, on the grass and have an extra- long bath. It’s all building a healthier, better connected brain.
And before you dismiss the possibility of a healthier, smarter you because you don’t have extra time or you hate the gym, let me show you how simple this can be. Remember, the research said brain performance is enhanced after only 20 minutes of moderate walking. It’s OK to start simple and to have fun doing it. In fact it is highly advisable.
Some Movement Guidelines for All Ages:
Babies should have plenty of opportunity for physical activity, especially supervised floor play. Keep the amount of time babies are in capsules and prams to a minimum. Tummy time is so important!
Children under the age of 5 should enjoy at least 3 hours total of physical activity per day. And children over 5, including adults, should do at least 1 hour total of moderate to vigorous exercise per day.
Again, before you list your top 5 reasons “That isn’t going to happen”, let me say, this doesn’t have to be all at once. A 20-minute walk at lunch, to school, around the block, or chasing the kids at the park can all be included. Feel free to break it up. That makes it easier to accomplish.
Some fun ideas for movement that can, and should, include the kids:
|Walking the dog||Splashing in puddles||Skateboarding|
|Climbing trees||Hopscotch||Jumping on trampoline/bed|
|Skipping rope||Walking at beach||Playing at the park|
|Singing, dancing||Washing the car||Jumping into the pool/ocean|
Good posture helps your spine and nerve system work the way it was meant to providing you with more energy, better mood, increased ability to learn and less tension in your body. The easiest way to improve posture is to, of course, MOVE.
With the known benefits to exercise being improved cardiovascular health, better posture, decreased stress, less anxiety and depression, improved behaviour and improved brain function for learning and memory, when are you and your family going to start? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Just for fun, the next time you or your child starts to have a tantrum, each of you do 20 star jumps and skip around the dining table. Sure you might look silly, but it also just might help to ease the tension, calm the angry monster and help you both find a solution together.
As always it has been a pleasure being able to share this information with you. The links below provide ideas to help you get started. If you, or your group, would like more information about chiropractic, child development or healthy lifestyle choices, just let me know. My contact details are on my website, www.GiuntiniChiropractic.com.au
You can also follow me on Facebook/GiuntiniChiropractic and Instagram/giuntini_chiropractic
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