The days are shorter and colder – winter has officially arrived. While it might be tempting to snuggle up on the couch with your little ones, cup of hot chocolate and rusks on hand, it’s important to factor in some active time.
Exercise helps kids feel less stressed, have higher self-esteem, focus at school, sleep better and maintain a healthy weight. You’ve probably noticed too that parenting children who get enough exercise, is easier than parenting those who don’t – incentive enough?
But when it’s cold and dark outside, how do you get your kids to exercise? “It’s simple,” says primary school principal at Cape Town’s Riverside College; “make exercise fun. If your kids see you making an effort, they’re likely to buy into the idea too. Physical activity should be seen as an essential part of your child’s daily routines.”
Fun, exercise, winter in the same sentence? Walk the dog, take breaks every hour and do jumping jacks. If you have a set of stairs, see who can walk upstairs backwards – the fastest, park in the furthest parking lot at the mall, so that you have to walk the distance to the entrance.
“Find a way to incorporate exercise into your normal daily activity, make it become a part of your routine,” says Miss Arbuckle. “Moderate activity increases brain activity and generates endorphins to help your kids stay motivated and positive at school.”
Research supports Miss Arbuckle’s sentiment. Get up, get moving, get active – remember, habits that are adopted during your childhood and teenage years are likely to roll over into adulthood. Everyone wins.
Lynne Arbuckle has been the principal of Riverside College, based in Cape Town’s Burgundy Estate, since 2013. The pre-primary, primary and secondary schools have a holistic approach to education, with a comprehensive academic, sports and extra mural activity programme. All classes are capped at 24 learners.
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:
021 447 1082 / 060 677 6235
On behalf of Riverside College:
Founder: Elana Edwards