My daughter is a girl scout. She has a great group of friends and 2 fantastic troop leaders. Earlier this year, they were working on their health and wellness badges. I offered to come in a talk to the girls about the importance of a healthy diet and daily exercise. While prepping for this, I came across, what I found to be a pretty interesting statistic. The CDC recommends that kids get 60 min of exercise a day. And it doesn’t have to 60 consecutive minutes. It can be broken up (ie 10 min walk to school, 15 min recess, 30 min gym class, 10 min walk home from school).
However, fewer than 4% of elementary schools provide daily PE and only 57% have regular recess.*Add to that, using the example above, not every kid walks to school. And kids that are in a sports program usually have practice 2-3x a week. Studies have proven that kids that incorporate daily exercise into their routines—outperform and exceed in every subject in comparison to those kids don’t.Exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains! Parents have to fill in the gaps here. And you want them to learn by example right?
I started to put together some ideas of what families can do together to get their 60 min in daily. I hope you add a couple of these in this week.
Morning—wake up 15 to 20 min earlier every day and:
-Do some early morning yoga or pilates stretches.
-Make to-go cups of coffee, tea, or favorite hot beverage and go on an early morning walk
-Get on your running shoes and do a 1-2 mile run (you can do this in 20 min—you can)
After school/work/weekday evenings
-Play hide and go seek (inside or outside)
-Grab a mitt and ball and play catch
-Swing with your kids at the park
-Have a hula hoop contest
-Evening Dance Party! Keep the shades up—so what if your neighbors can see you.
-Go to the forest preserve, pack a picnic lunch and go for a hike or geocaching
-Go to the pool as a family
-Enter into a 5k neighborhood run as a family
-Bike ride into a different part of town and spend the day