Everyone knows the benefits of physical activity for the body, but research has shown that it also positively impacts the brain. Exercise has been proven to regulate mood, especially in times of stress. In fact, aerobic exercise (getting breathless) for 20 minutes a day is considered a standard treatment for depression by the American Psychiatric Association.
In a study done at the University of British Columbia, scientists found that regular exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus which is the area of the brain involved in memory and learning. Providing aerobic activities to children can improve attention according to a study from Michigan and Vermont Universities. In Finland, a country with an education system well known for it’s effectiveness, students are given 15 minutes of outdoor recess to play and move after every 45 minutes of instruction.
So what are you waiting for? Get up and get moving as a family. The following resources provide excellent tips on how to stay active at home:
Go Noodle: Good Energy at Home is a free on-line resource for kids and families to be active, stay mindful and keep learning. www.gonoodle
Physical Activity for Youth (12-17 years), The Government of Canada provides ideas on how to keep teens active at home, at school, indoors or outdoors, with family (and friends).
The Daily 20 Program-Start2Finish has developed a fun, exercise program that can be done at home every day. 5 minutes-4 times a day=a happy brain.
Home workout videos with Darrel Hargrove
These workouts are designed to target both cardiovascular and muscular endurance through a variety of movements, by continuing to move through each station in a circuit style fashion, the heart rate will stay at an optimal level, and the movements performed will be adequately challenging for many different fitness levels.
Difficulty can be managed with increasing resistance using bands, weights or other household items (Cans of Paint, Towels, Water Jugs, Chairs, Duffle bags or Backpacks filled with objects, Soup cans and more). Switching up movements daily allows the body to avoid plateau, and adjust to primary and complementary muscle usage in many different areas. This workout is designed to be home ready, viable, functional and beneficial to a wide spectrum of potential participants. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
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