Avoid Back to School Blues
As school starts up again, it’s easy for parents and kids to get caught up in the craziness of the academic side of things. It’s important to remember there are other aspects of wellness that are just as important as learning! Here’s how to ensure your kids have a healthy and happy transition back into the school year to avoid back to school blues.
Encourage kids to stay active and spend time outside!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day for kids ages 6 to 17. However, only one in three kids is physically active each day.
Almost one-third of high school kids spend 3 or more hours playing video or computer games on an average school day. So just because recess stops for most in elementary school, and physical education class stops a year or two into high school, doesn’t mean kids should stop exercising!
There are plenty of benefits kids can enjoy from regular exercise:
Muscle strength and coordination:
Kids have better control over their bodies and are less likely to sustain an injury.
Strong cardiovascular system:
The heart and lungs can pump and use more oxygen, therefore lowering overall blood pressure and decreasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Healthy and stable bones:
More exercise increases bone strength, which means kids are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis or bone breaks.
Higher self-esteem, energy levels, concentration, and alertness:
Getting exercise makes kids feel better about themselves! It also helps them focus and perform better in the classroom.
Decreased depression and anxiety:
Studies have shown that exercise increases serotonin levels (serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory) which can lower feelings of depression.
What can you do as a parent?
- Encourage kids to get outside! Instead of playing video or computer games, have them play a game outside.
- Instead of study breaks being taken with technology such as their phone, or by watching tv, switch in a walk or run in the neighborhood.
- Create a schedule that has built-in time for burning off energy and having fun with exercise!
- Enroll kids in an organized sport, but also encourage free time to exercise as well! Organized sports are fantastic for kids to take part in, but if that’s all they know as exercise, they could easily burn out over time. Mix in organized and unorganized exercise time for the most benefit!
Encourage kids to get active so they can live healthier, happier lives!