I can still remember arriving at school on the first day of a new term in the England of my youth. In those times, we had to sign up for sports selection on the very first day. In the winter months, it was the choice of rugby, cross country running or field hockey. We played team sports four times a week, rain or shine.
My favourite sport was always cricket. For me, this was the highlight of my school days. I was re-united with team mates and nurturing friendships. We shared spirited thoughts of competition in an organized and physical environment. In those days, sports prowess had nearly the same cache as academic success. That suited me perfectly.
As we prepare to send our kids back to school, let’s take a look at some important factors.
Teaching time has squeezed out sports time
In recent years, fewer schools integrate physical education and team sports in the curriculum and sports now happen outside school.
Increasingly, parents choose private tutors over sports. With such a heavy academic load, the thought of sports on top of this can be overwhelming. As a result, the kids miss out on important activity and social interaction.
Children need a balance of sleep and activity for growth, to recharge and feel energetic the next morning. While motivating a worn-out kid is a challenge, research shows that kids who play sports tend to be more energetic and engaged.
How do we inspire our kids to become more active?
It all begins with how they feel during and after sports. If the effect is positive, they will want more. And this is a good thing. Activity fuels the brain. It produces positive attitudes, a strong body, and clear and diverse thinking. These are essential ingredients in the dynamic, fast-paced world our kids live in.
Being active boosts the metabolism and pushes more oxygen rich blood into the brain. The brain uses 20 percent of all our oxygen needs. It is the energy equivalent of a 40 Watt light bulb burning all the time.
On the other hand, inactivity causes the opposite: poor posture, no muscle tone, lethargy, negativity and a lack of agile thinking.
Spinal misalignments can and will stunt the growth of your child
Our kids are constantly stooped over mobile phones, computers and tablets. Hunched shoulders create tension and it goes downhill from there.
If our children's bodies are full of restrictions and misalignments they tend to slump forward in what is known as "flexion contraction." This is the inability to fully straighten a joint like the, shoulder, knee or elbow. It requires a great deal of effort to move and straighten their joints. They are quickly exhausted. And, yes, their mood and physiology changes.
My daughter started one of her major growth surges at 13. Her tight musculature distorted her growing spine and even started to pull the spine to one side. Doctors call this lateral scoliosis. Compounding this, she used a sling bag to carry her books to school and developed a winging of her left shoulder blade from all the muscle imbalances.
It was her own decision to do something to rectify her back problem. It had less to do with the pain and more with how she looked. She decided it was time to stand up straight.
Taking away your children's slumps and humps takes a commitment to work out the imbalances
After 2 months of weekly postural correction work and awareness exercises, my daughter became conscious of how she stood and looked. She also became aware of posture in others. "If they like how they feel, they will be naturally motivated to keep up the process."
This physical and mental transformation must come from the child. They need to make this choice on their own. Parental pushing will not help them to correct their posture and straighten up. It rests in how they feel when they are properly aligned.
Our own physical structure is our most valuable asset
Don’t use sling bags, try backpacks. Make certain that you weigh your child’s backpack. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child's backpack weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of a child's weight. It is also a good idea to pack the bags carefully so that the weight distribution is even.
"Book backs," as it is called, will stunt your child’s growth and is devastating for their posture.
Let’s work together to make back to school a healthy and enjoyable time
The Motion Dynamics TM system uses a variety of manual therapy techniques to correct postural alignment.
It results in increased flexibility, improved blood flow and reduced tension. It prepares your child for everyday activity and any sport they choose by maximising mobility.
With improved posture and flexibility, children can do a lot more with their bodies using less energy. Flexibility training is the key to power, speed and ease of movement. Our body is designed to move in multiple planes and we need to maintain full range of movement for friction-free movement in our joints and soft tissue.
We all want our kids to have correct posture, stand tall and be as fast and functional as possible. We stretch and align your child to allow them to set their own activity goals.
Article > We played team sports four times a week, rain or shine. Back to School
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