Importance our youth continuing to exercise and interact with safe practices is good mental and physical health of our youth so we suggest summer library programs regulated by staff.
As a parent of two beautiful girls I wanted to know what negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic may have on them and deal with any issues that may arise. After some research it was and watching my children I’ve found they are affected physically and mentally. It is essential for our kids to continue being physically active to move forward in a positive direction. Here’s why:
- Brains need physical activity to stay psychologically healthy. If your child has stopped exercising, you may notice an increase in emotions, especially irritability. Children and adolescents who are used to being physically active have brains that are used to this activity. Their brains NEED the physical activity to stay psychologically healthy.
- Brains work best when they have regular physical activity. Concentration and focus right now are challenging for the student engaging in ‘alternate learning’ while school is physically out. Moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes has been shown to increase ability to focus and learn in the few hours after – use it!
- Exercise promotes better sleep: We need our children to sleep well, and normally, during this time. Schedules are off. People are stressed. This is harder to manage when we are sleep deprived. Our coping skills are not as sharp. Exercise helps with both sleep initiation (falling asleep) and consolidation (staying asleep).
So how can we help our children stay physically active during these challenging times? Here are some strategies I am using with my three children, ages six and seven:
Tips for Encouraging Exercise at Home:
- Make physical activity intentional. If you don’t plan it, it probably won’t get done. We have dedicated one-hour blocks of time for exercise each morning and afternoon, with ‘free exercise’ outside after ‘school’, which we are ending at 3:30 daily. For older children and teens, many coaches have been sending home training ideas. Be intentional about this and include it on their daily schedules.
- Let them choose. Everyone needs to feel in control of themselves, so give your child two choices for exercise, both of which would be acceptable. Example: We are going on a hike! Would you like to hike in the park or up to your school?
- Make it fun. Here are things we have done so far: hiked in our neighborhood and in parks; ridden bicycles with the adult running alongside; ridden scooters to the park; practiced indoor grounder/fly ball/line drive catching in our hall with a soft ball (this is now a particularly popular game in our home); creek walked/hiked; had jumping jack competitions; hosted yard races. This is as fun for me as it is for them, and I need it.
- Start fresh! For children and adolescents who are not regular exercisers, now is a great time to start, especially with more down time at home. Aim for 20 minutes of walking, preferably outside. Increase the time as you can – with a goal of at least 60 minutes every day. This doesn’t have to be in one long session. Feel free to break it up as needed.
How I can help:
To help and do my part during these times I’m offering a program to cowboys and cowgirls on how to learn to be a Trick Roper where the guest/students are distances greatly apart in fresh air outside in a large park or field in order to spin their trick ropes, for those who wish to participate and hear stories of Will Rogers. We use wide open spaces for teaching Trick roping.
I love to come and brings some smiles to your community safely so contact Jennifer at the email below for more information.
Jennifer – Jennifer@theoklahomakid.com
For Quick Information Fill out Form Below!