Welcome back to another Full Spectrum Education blog. Today, we will explore the relationship between a healthy body and healthy mind as part of our campaign to encourage students to be their healthiest for #movementmarch.
The link between health in body to health in mind and that impact on education is fundamental.
Good Nutrition helps students show up at school prepared to learn. Because improvements in nutrition make students healthier, students are likely to have fewer absences and attend class more frequently. Studies show that malnutrition leads to behavior problems, and that sugar has a negative impact on child behavior (sourced from: https://healthy-food-choices-in-schools.extension). Additionally, Dr. Ratey writes that exercise improves learning on three levels: "First, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus" (sourced from: https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/exercise-and-brain-how-fitness-impacts-learning1801.html).
So, what are the ways you can incorporate more health into your learner's mind?
Focusing on fresh, whole foods that keep you fuller for longer is the first step. Look for lots of colour on your plates and serve up a variety of flavours and cuisines to keep them engaged. Treats are not taboo! As long as they are eaten in moderation, and not used for bribes (i.e. if you do your homework you can have ice cream. This creates a poor connection with food for the child), then let your student indulge every now and then.
Make sure they eat breakfast! According to the Dietician’s Association of Australia (DAA), eating breakfast before school:
- Improves alertness, concentration, mental performance and memory
- Decreases the urge to snack later in the day, especially on foods high in saturated fat and sugar
- Helps prevent weight gain and obesity
- Helps maintain a normal weight
- Improves physical energy during the day, increasing the likelihood of exercise
(Sourced from: https://www.schoolchoice.com.au/healthy-bodies-healthy-minds/)
Moving The Body
Most children are inherently active through life, sport and play, but make sure they are also stretching and doing full combination movement. Although they may want to sit in front of the gaming console all day during weekends and holidays, do your best to get them active and outside to walk the dog, go for a swim or hike, or join a local sports team.
Sleep & Relaxation
It is incredibly important for a young mind to get adequate sleep and to have a relaxed outlook - we don't want anyone fuelled on stress! Ensure your child has a good sleep schedule and wind dow routine, and actively encourage no tech, study or homework in the hour before bed. They may hate you for this at first, but their better sleep will reap the rewards.
If your child would benefit from individualised, one-on-one education with a passionate educator, get in touch with Full Spectrum Education to organise a free consultation.