There’s no way around it. It’s difficult to be in the present moment if you don’t pay attention to your physical needs – including movement. You and your child need not be a part of an organized team to enjoy moving your body.
Studies show that physical exercise increases cognitive functioning, including improving memory and attention – and not necessarily the kind of exercise we get by playing a team sport, which may only be available to a certain kind of child. Worried about your child’s P.E. program? Take a look at the BOKS program sponsored by Reebok, and the Spark Research-Based PE Program to learn more about getting more physical education in your child’s school.
Try this mindful movement routine with your family:
- Take advantage of school year weekends to get outside and move.
- Create family rules around screen time during daylight hours.
- Model physical exercise without any serious goals – in other words, have fun. Show your child that you don’t have to be on a varsity sports team to move your body. Climb a hill, sit on a swing, crawl through a tunnel.
- Remember that if you take your kids to a park for an hour, your brain activity will improve too! Take a look at this image of the brain before and after a twenty-minute walk:
Follow this link for tips to get your middle-schooler moving, stretching and making mindfulness part of everyday life: Middle school mindfulness
You don’t have to be a teenager to get fidgety. Shaking out your nervous energy is one of the best ways to calm an anxious mind – and it’s fun. We may have forgotten that simple fact. It may take some practice for you to remember fun movement. But it’s well worth it, for your mental well-being as well as your muscle well-being.
Looking for more instruction to increase the occurrence of pleasant moments in your day? Join Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield in Mindfulness Daily.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!