It’s grey, it’s cold, everyone’s been sick and you’re totally uninspired. We all know the feeling. But don’t let winter gloom and cabin fever turn you into a couch potato. Plan some FUN & EXERCISE!
Active playtime is just as important as some extra doses of vitamins C and D to keep your spirits lifted and your immune system strong during the winter and flu season. Why? Because play is the optimum state for both health and learning. Playing and exercising literally shift your mind-body state and your chemistry – into the zone of coherence, joy, creativity and bonding.
Recent studies have shown that during moderate exercise, immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. According to professor David Nieman, Dr. PH., of Appalachian State University, when moderate exercise is repeated on a near-daily basis there is a cumulative effect that leads to a long-term immune response. His research showed that those who exercise daily have half as many sick days due to colds or sore throats as those who don’t exercise.
Bottom-line, active play for kids is more than just FUN, it also boosts well-being, strengthens immune system and enhances:
- creative problem solving and conflict resolution
- language skills and communication
- memory and learning
- focus, attention and sustained concentration
- impulse control and emotional intelligence
- balance, coordination and confidence
- maintaining healthy body weight and sense of well-being
- ability to manage stress and reduce anxiety
Though it’s easy to just let the family all go to their respective corners and technology, especially when it’s bleak outside, don’t! Make sure you plan and enjoy some playtime with your child or children every day. You’ll all feel closer, happier, healthier.
Here are some ideas:
- Plant an herb garden or window sill pots
- Explore a new trail or park
- Visit the aquarium, planetarium, zoo or children’s museum
- Create an indoor obstacle course
- Play Twister or Yogi Benders
- Act out your favorite book as a movement story
- Play a board or card game
- Do a Move with Me or other exercise video
- Cook or bake something special and surprise a friend