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Move it Monday Kickoff

January 3rd, 2011 by bsmith | Filed under Move It Monday.
Destiny's Park Work Out

Destiny's Park Workout

I have been a mom for more than a decade now, and it seems that every day I learn something new about parenting my lively kids.  Hikes and trips to the park have always been a part of our family adventures, but I never knew just how important they were to my children’s well being until I started doing some reading.  The first book I picked up, Last Child in the Woods is a wonderful meditation of the importance of exposure to natural environments for all children.  Nature acts as a form of therapy for kids with ADD and other challenges, and benefits all kids as well.  One key thing I learned is it important for kids to explore and to manipulate their natural environment in order to really reap the benefits of their nature experiences.  Now as we go for a hike, we stop to climb a tree or dig in the dirt.  We stack little rock towers at our local park.  We spend plenty of time collecting and releasing sand crabs at the beach.

As I have gotten to know the individual personalities and idiosyncrasies of my lively brood I have discovered a connection between exercise and the ability for my kids to focus.  In my youngest this is particularly evident.  If Jared has a chance to be physically active before buckling down to do his homework or work with his Occupational Therapist, he will be much more happy and successful.  Turns out brain research backs up my observations.  In his book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain , Ratey shows how exercise can improve focus, even for people with ADD, relieve the symptoms of depression, reduce anxiety and improve academic performance.

The further I travel on this  journey of parenting, the more I realize that modeling an active lifestyle is gift  I can give my children that will improve their health and well being for years to come.  To this end, we are walking to school and walking the dog.  After a 20 year hiatus I have relearned how to ride a bike and am biking to our neighborhood park with the kids.  Scooters, jump ropes, and a Microsoft Kinect were some of the presents under the Christmas tree this year.

So this year, my blog will have a new focus.  When possible on Mondays, I will be sharing my experiences with getting my kids moving.  Some posts will highlight active adventures while traveling.  Others will focus on at-home adventures.   I hope that my fellow bloggers will join me with a “Move It Monday”  Post, then stop by and leave a comments.  Since I have Comment Luv, a link to your post will appear next to your comment.

In the interests of full disclosure “Move It Monday” is not my unique idea.  According to their website,  Move it Monday is part of The Monday Campaigns  ” a non-profit public health initiative in association with Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse Newhouse School of Public Communications. Our goal is to help end chronic preventable disease by offering a weekly prompt that can support people in starting and sustaining healthy behaviors.”   Stop by their website to learn more.

Have a great Monday and get moving!

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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