Top 10 Tips From Dr. John Ratey (#3 Of 3 Part Series)

It’s the last and final post in our three part series from Dr. Ratey. He’ll be joining us again soon, but for now we’d like to leave you with the last four tips to keep kids moving!

This week Dr. Ratey provides tips surrounding kids as they start to get a little older and determine what kind of play or physical activity they prefer.

7. We are all worried about our children falling into the world of video games. When kids become friends with others who are active it helps them stay away from this temptation. Studies also show that schools who emphasize more physical activity have children who are healthier, better behaved, do better on standardized tests and have higher grade point averages. The US Institute of Medicine in fact, recommends an hour of day of vigorous activity in school not just to help avoid obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other physical ailments but to raise test scores.

8. There is not one specific activity that is best for children but instead kids should engage in all exercise that demands endurance, strength, flexibility and is fun as well as goal oriented (competition with oneself and others). Thus basketball, soccer, volleyball, fencing, table tennis, badminton, any form of dance, martial arts, gymnastics, tennis, squash and of course BOKS demand endurance, strength and flexibility. Getting children engaged in an array of sports and activities early on in life has the most beneficial effect to keep children stay active throughout their life.

9. When a child begins to show a preference and skill at a certain sport, this should be followed rather than forced. Joining a team or group that offers coaching and instruction at this point in time, can be an important step. Feeling the sense of mastery in one activity will help the child become more confident and expect more from themselves in other activities such as school work and studying.

10. Children and parents need to be aware of the many benefits of play, exercise, and sport. Most think activity is just for the body, but we are encouraging people to learn of the effects on the brain, the personality and the ability to socialize.

Physical activity has many benefits and hopefully after reading these great tips from Dr. John Ratey you have a better sense of how truly important it is. And remember to always have fun doing it! Exercise is medicine.