Nothing is exciting without a dance…
For a while I have been wanting to write something about exercise, but I am full of good intentions and little practical experience of regular exercise, so I have asked my friend Vivian Scheepers to do so instead. She is a better role model in terms of including exercise into her own routine and is passionate about children and the role exercise plays in a child’s life. She is currently teaching Sports and Gymnastics for ages 2 – 13 years and adult aerobic classes. In her own words:
Nothing is exciting without a dance…
- Activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.
- Activity carried out for a specific purpose.
Some say it’s amazing, I feel good, look good and I want to know that my body is balanced with good eating habits and a good workout.
Yet, others say, “ Aargggh! Why would I do that to myself?”
Whatever your adult mind decides exercise can or cannot be, research demonstrates that it is very important for a child to be active and exercising regularly. It provides a good balance between a healthy mind and body. In fact, we have also learned that they exist together.
I grew up in a home where I was told exercise is not important. All I needed was to be smart and that needed brain power. Later, when I became a mother, I started to learn about gross and fine motor skills. What you do inside the classroom is as important as what you do outside the classroom. On discovering this new information, I realized no child should go without exercise, it should be part of their lives…. Because we all want healthy balanced individuals, right? Therefore, it should not be a choice, rather we should figure out what exercise we like and will continue to do.
As defined above, regardless of what exercise we do, it will require physical effort and is done for a specific purpose. So, how do we make it fun? Well, some of us like to dance, some like to play sports and others prefer strength & flexibility.
The pandemic has made many of us realize we can do this from the comfort of our homes.
Parents who homeschool their children are generally more aware that outside activities must be encouraged. I worry about all the new online students that have joined during Covid-19 because education doesn’t go without exercise. Stressed parents and children will be left to cope on their own fuel. We need an intervention!
From someone who loves being active (and I don’t mean running marathons or going to the gym everyday) I can only encourage you to explore exercise and different ways of introducing it into your daily routine.
For example, build an obstacle course for your toddler in his room/lounge. This age loves to crawl & tumble, use tables, chairs, the bed – remember to repeat words like, up, down, under. If you have a yard do the same thing outside. Use plastic cups to weave in/out, jump over the cups, use a broom as a hockey stick and if you have no ball use a scrunched up piece of paper. Let the child scrunch paper – good for fine motor skills. Play games like Simon says…balance on one foot, 5 star jumps. Play musical statues, you can test hearing, following instructions. Let the older kids stand next to their table & do squats, push-ups & sit-ups using their chairs. Make sure to let your children come up with ideas as well, building their imaginary minds helps creative & mathematical minds develop… Possibilities are endless.
A healthy body leads to a productive mind = a happy student. Not allowing your child to engage in exercise because you don’t like it, is being selfish. Yes, as the definition suggests it does take a concerted effort.
While we strive to get the best education for our children, let’s not forget exercise is necessary, not an option!
In God’s wisdom and grace, He has afforded us an opportunity to use technology to our advantage. Let’s be purposeful and access it. God has also given us this opportunity to discover our children’s strengths and weaknesses. Let’s be empowered to assist them.
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