It’s difficult to balance, perform coordinated movements on both sides of the body, sit up straight in a chair, hold a pencil, control scissors, or jump if you don’t have a strong core.
Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities. Weak core muscles can lead to fatigue, less endurance and loss of focus. Weak core muscles can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.
Give your kids an edge!!
Children are like sponges and they learn so much by observation of others behaviours.
So modelling a good healthy lifestyle will help them to develop good habits from an early age as the good behaviours will be what they see as normal.
It is never too late to change your habits and assist your children to also adopt healthier eating, sleeping and exercising routines.
Awareness is a huge benefit for every one through out their lives. Explaining the benefits of better physical health and how it will assist with their life goals, increase self confidence, resilience and learning abilities may be all they need.
But ensure you are being a good role model and demonstrating your commitment to a healthy lifestyle to assist them to be involved.
And above all make it fun and work with their strengths.
Involve the children in lifestyle decisions such as dinner menus, help with food preparation. Invent fun easy to do exercise so it doesn't feel like a chore but is fun quality time with parents. It may be walking the dog, walking home from school, shooting hoops, animal walk races, obstacle course and even tickle fights!!
Exercise ball activities
Exercise balls can be used for a myriad of fun exercises to help build core strength.
Balancing on the ball and lifting a leg or lying on your stomach and lifting the upper body up to the count of 3 and gradually increase the time. Also try walking forward on your hands until only your feet are on the ball.
Maybe have stickers and have the child walk forward and put a sticker on the wall or a ball in a box.
Play hot potato where 2 people sit back to back and then hand the exercise ball around to the other person and continue in a circle for a minute to see who has the potato at the end.
Animal Walks are fun!!
There are many animal walks to choose from eg a bear, dog, frog, kangaroo or invent you own.
Make an obstacle course around the room or have a race down the hall.
Animal walks can also be used in the classroom to use different muscle groups and utilise planning and memory.
For example when going to the bin you need to be a frog and when going to your tub you need to be a crab and when you need to ask a question you stand and be a flamingo!!
This helps the kids who seek extra movement and need to move more than others get some extra sensory input through out the school day.
Movement and Yoga
Simple stretches also help to develop and maintain a strong core.
Side to side, touching toes, squats, twisting from side to side.
Squat down and pick up an item (eg lego pieces) then stand and put in a box on a chair. See how many they can pick up in 1 minute.
Stand 1 step away from the wall with back to the wall. Turn and touch the wall and then turn and touch the other side. Make sure feet don't move.
Yoga can also be used as part of the exercise routine as well a wonderful calming down activity after more strenuous exercise. It is perfect for when returning to the classroom after a break to get everyone calm and ready for learning.
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