Kids and Steps and Sweat equals health­ier brains

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Viewpoints -

Re­search shows that the more phys­i­cally ac­tive kids are the bet­ter they will do in school, ac­cord­ing to the new Par ti ci pact I ON Re­port Card on Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity for Chil­dren and Youth.

In light of this re­search, par­tic­i­paction has is­sued an ex­pert state­ment on phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and brain health in chil­dren and youth.

Here is the ex­pert state­ment:

“For bet­ter brain health, all chil­dren and youth should be phys­i­cally ac­tive on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. In ad­di­tion to phys­i­cal health ben­e­fits, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity also im­proves cog­ni­tion, brain func­tion and men­tal health.”

You can read the full re­port here: www.par­tic­i­­port­card

Many of the brain pro­cesses that make for bet­ter, more ef­fi­cient learn­ers—such as fo­cus, mem­ory, and re­call—are en­hanced af­ter get­ting phys­i­cal ac­tive. Thus, adding more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to kids’ rou­tines could be the miss­ing part of the equa­tion to make them bet­ter stu­dents, ath­letes, and friends.

Read the full re­port to un­der­stand the science be­hind how phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can help the brain in cog­ni­tion, brain func­tion and struc­ture & men­tal health. The re­port says that get­ting ac­tive is a good idea be­cause:

• Get­ting mov­ing is more ef­fec­tive than cram­ming for a test;

• Busy bodies re­sults in big­ger brains;

• The more ac­tive the body the more in­no­va­tive the ideas;

• Be­ing ac­tive helps stu­dents to fo­cus bet­ter;

• Break­ing a sweat re­leases feel good hor­mones, so kids who move feel great;

• More move­ment re­sults in less anx­i­ety;

• More phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity equals less stress;

• Get­ting ac­tive re­sults in in­creased self es­teem;

In light of this ev­i­dence, par­ents and fam­i­lies can:

• En­cour­age chil­dren and youth to meet the daily phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity guide­lines for their age, and sup­port them in their ef­forts.

• Pro­mote age-ap­pro­pri­ate out­door play as a way of im­prov­ing de­ci­sion mak­ing, prob­lem-solv­ing and self­con­fi­dence;

• Be­come aware of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties that are ap­pro­pri­ate for the skill level and abil­i­ties of chil­dren and youth;

• Learn about fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for par­tic­i­pa­tion in sports and re­cre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties by chil­dren and youth;

• Ex­plain the child’s strengths and needs to lo­cal phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and re­cre­ation providers so the in­struc­tors have the knowl­edge re­quired to en­sure an in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment/ex­pe­ri­ence. ;

• Be ac­tive as a fam­ily. This en­cour­ages phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, to­geth­er­ness, so­cial sup­port and con­nect­ed­ness, which are all im­por­tant for good men­tal health.

• Seek out qual­ity pro­gram­ming with trained in­struc­tors that sup­port phys­i­cal lit­er­acy.

The 2018 par­tic­i­paction Re­port Card on Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity for Chil­dren and Youth is the most com­pre­hen­sive as­sess­ment of child and youth phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in Canada.

The Re­port Card syn­the­sizes data from mul­ti­ple sources, in­clud­ing the best avail­able peer-re­viewed re­search, to as­sign ev­i­dence-in­formed grades across 14 in­di­ca­tors.

The 2018 Ex­pert State­ment on Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Brain Health in Chil­dren and Youth is based on the find­ings of a team of ex­perts in pe­di­atric neu­ro­science and ex­er­cise science.

This State­ment was writ­ten af­ter mul­ti­ple re­views, dis­cus­sions and con­sul­ta­tions with stake­hold­ers. The find­ings are ap­pli­ca­ble to all Cana­dian kids, re­gard­less of gen­der, cul­tural back­ground or so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus, in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties.

De­sirea Agar is a health pro­mo­tion co­or­di­na­tor at Medicine Hat Com­mu­nity Health Ser­vices and can be reached at de­[email protected]


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