by Melody Gamba
A healthy body combines physical, emotional and mental strength. Every child can benefit from positive mind, confidence and self-respect. How much of your children’s activities promote the development of a positive and strong mindset? We often focus on the physical attributes such as strength, speed and agility. Our children’s mindset is key in all aspects of life from schoolwork, to time with family and friends and after-school athletic activities. By training the body and the mind at a young age we help set up our children for success in approaching life situations, dealing with stress and aiding in the development of effective coping mechanisms. Mind/Body exercise techniques are one of the many ways we can provide our children with the right tools to prepare them for the challenges on their way into adulthood and beyond. Below is a short list of a few of my favorite mind/body techniques for children. All of these techniques combine a system of exercises for mental and physical health while increasing physical strength, flexibility and posture and teaching the use of breath in movement.
“Pilates allows youths to learn about their bodies and how it works - and gives them something to strive for”, Moria Merrithew the executive director of education and co-founder of Merrithew Health & Fitness™.
“Christina Enneking, the founder of Heart Happy Yoga, a studio in Los Gatos, California, believes yoga introduces cornerstone values "such as non-harming, truthfulness, moderation, cleanliness, gratitude and self-discipline."
Taoist Tai Chi Society of Australia executive director Peter Cook, “Tai chi has become increasingly 'mainstream' and recognized by both health professionals and the public as highly beneficial,” Cook said. “Tai chi helps to reduce stress and improve concentration. The continuous flowing movements have a calming effect on the mind and can improve mood and cognition.” In this fast paced world everything is at our fingertips with a tap of a screen. I encourage you, along with the children in your life, to take a moment to unplug, slow down a little, quiet the mind and focus on the positive. It seems the pace of life and the world around us will only continue to intensify in speed. As we shift into a new season, let us use this opportunity to educate and train our children about the importance of a healthy mindset in addition to a strong body to carry us through each day.