It’s a new season, a new school year and after a lovely long summer getting back into routine can be a challenge. Now is the time to set some goals and gear yourself and your family up for a positive start. Take this as an opportunity to focus your mind at work or in your daily life. It’s an important time for children as they settle into a new class and you can help motivate them and take the stress out of learning.
It’s not all in your head! Movement is an essential factor in focussing your mind for effective learning. Your body and your mind are closely connected and the two function best when working in unison. As a baby your first developments were through movement as you learnt to turn, roll over, sit up, crawl and walk. This process continued as you learnt to talk and interact in social situations. In adulthood many people find repetitive physical activities such as swimming, walking, cycling or running helpful in clearing the mind as they allow time to think and rebalance.
Try The Cross Crawl
Need some motivation? Try this Educational Kinesiology exercise at home which is based on the principle that moving your body maximizes your brain power. It is part of a simple and highly effect system of targeted activities and movements that prepare the brain and the body for optimal performance.
The Cross Crawl is simply a cross-lateral walking in place movement. In a standing position touch the right hand to the left knee and then the left hand to the right knee. As you rotate each hand swing it back as if you are walking on the spot ensuring you have good movement in the shoulders. Do this slowly for about a minute. As you cross your arms to alternate knees the activity of conscious walking on the spot helps stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.
Do this yourself if you’re having a brain block whilst working and you’ll be amazed how effectively it clears the mind. Try the exercise on your child (if willing!) each day before school and after about three weeks you will start to see a difference in their reading and writing.
Watch what you eat
Your diet also has a huge impact on your brain functionality. There is increasing evidence to show that providing your body with healthy and nutritious food is vital for mental growth. Start your day with a balanced sugar free breakfast that includes some essential fatty acids and a B Complex. A smoothie made from fresh fruit and vegetables, poached eggs, oily fish, seeds and nuts are all excellent foods to kick start your day.
Drinking plenty of water is essential to effective learning as it plays a crucial role in the electrical activity within your body to keep you ticking. Did you know that your brain comprises more water than any other organ in the body? Keep it topped up!
Kath’s tips for new season success
- Get moving! If you’re having a brain block at work take a break and try The Cross Crawl for one minute. Try the exercise on your child before school, or simultaneously as they practise their times table, spellings or learning a language – movement will help the information sink in.
- Avoid sugary cereals at breakfast. If possible, try a wheat free diet for three weeks and see if this affects your energy levels and your child’s behaviour. A protein breakfast will maintain focus for longer.
- Keep your brain topped up and drink plenty of water. If your child comes home from school exhausted give them a class of water to recharge.