Inspire Your Kids to Be Healthy

Posted by Adam Bernick - 29 July, 2017

2016-08-13 09.38.42.jpgEvery parent wants their child to thrive, but what's the secret? What can we do to create the best conditions for our children to continue to be joyful and curious as they grow up?

Are there environmental factors we can control? The first approach is living an active lifestyle. A pair of sneakers can do so much for your child's cognitive development!

hike pictures - 4199722.jpgThink about how much physical activity your child has every day. Is their physical activity structured or unstructured? They need both.

Last weekend my family went for a hike on Green Mountain. Spending time outisde has many benefits. We love the Madison County Nature Trail. The parking is easy, there is no entry fee, and the trail is great for my 5-year-old and for us.

Throughout our hike, my son talked non-stop. We could hardly get a word in. He was guiding us throughout the trail, telling us which way to go and "facts" about the trail, the trees, the cabin, and the bridge. Of course, he was completely making it up, but it didn't matter. His creative juices were flowing and he was feeling great. We were feeling great, too.

John Medina, author of Brain Rules, points to the benefits of exercise for the brain. I always think of the chapter on exercise and how it impacts productivity at work, especially when I'm grinding out email at 4:45 in the afternoon and I'm wishing I had a treadmill in my office. Medina writes about the importance of staying physically active for the sake of your brain's health. He is absolutely right, and we all know it, because we all feel better when we are active.

I want my son to have an active mind and I want to make sure he is in an environment that values active children and physical activity.

I want my son to have an active mind and I want to make sure he is in an environment that values active children and physical activity.

My wife and I look forward to having him at Randolph School, where he will have physical education every single day as well as 30-60 minutes of daily recess time. Additionally, knowing that he will engage with NeuroNet, a program developed to build connections between movement and brain activity, makes me feel even better about our decision for his education. Stay active. Stay healthy. Get smarter. Knowing we have a partner in physical fitness and healthy living here at Randolph is also important to us.

Even if your child is getting enough recess and time outdoors once he or she begins formal education, you probably aren't!  A recent study found that many families who have backyards don't even find time to use them. Taking a family walk on the weekends is a great way to spend time together while developing healthy lifelong habits and stronger relationships.  

Shawn Gaunt, M.S., CSCS, Randolph’s Director of Strength and Fitness, gave a Parents Connect presentation on fitness and nutrition for Lower School children, which can also be found on this blog. He provided information, resources and ideas for families to prevent or reverse childhood obesity and maintain healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle.  Coach Gaunt was also a guest in our Facebook Live summer roundtable series, which you can watch here.

Photo of Randolph community walk, August 2016, Land Trust of North Alabama Wildflower Trail

Topics: fitness, health, Brain Rules, nature

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