Exercising for Brain Health
Is your child suffering from anxiety or depression? Or having trouble concentrating or managing their emotions? Therapy, along with regular exercise, can help to improve our mind and body.
There are many studies that back up the benefits of exercise on our physical and mental health. In fact, scientists tend to agree that exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain, and can even create chemical changes in the brain, virtually in the same way that some medications do. Physical activity improves memory and cognition; helps with insomnia; reduces stress, anxiety, and depression; and improves emotional regulation skills.
To help your child/teen work towards a healthy mind and body…
1. Find something that they enjoy. Your child may have fun playing on a sports team (added social benefits!), lifting weights, taking a dance class, walking the dog, hiking with the family, or playing the Wii Sports. When they are having fun, they will stick with it, but you may need to help them switch things up, so that they don’t get bored.
2. Schedule in time for exercise. Children and teens will need your help to schedule exercise into their day. For those with emotional or behavioral concerns, a schedule of their full day (i.e. school, meals, exercise, and free time) will be particularly beneficial.
3. Be a role model. Children learn from those they see around them. Help them see that exercise is a part of the family’s lifestyle. The way you speak about sports and exercise will also have an impact on your children. They may hear you talking about how strong you feel after a run, or how fun it was to try paddle-boarding, or making exercise a priority in your schedule. They will also observe how you handle learning a new activity – whether you show frustration and give up, or you take a deep breath and give it another try. There are so many lessons your child will learn so make sure the message is positive!
Remember, you should always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to make sure that it is safe for you and your child.
If you would like more information about how to help your child improve their mental well-being, please contact the offices of Dynamic Interventions at 661-257-1254 or at www.dynamicinterventions.com.
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