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Preventing Childhood Obesity While Making Your Child Smarter

It is easier than you think to prevent childhood obesity using specific movements designed to integrate the left and right hemispheres of the brain. These movements are particularly  fun when they are done with and to music. They can be dance movements, sports moves or moves that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as something that would help to prevent obesity and get kids moving.

Really you say? Yes, really I say, this is because all movement helps to develop the brain. When children are moving they are learning. This is why it is so important for children to be active and move and for parents and caregivers to limit the amount of screen time that children are experiencing in today’s electronic and digitally ruled age. Exercising, walking, dancing, cooking, building, gardening all of these things are contributing to the building of the brain.  These are all movements, they get the body moving which is something you want to get your children doing whether they are conscious of it or not.

Let’s just look at one of these topics that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as a physical activity, like cooking. Cooking involves stirring, chopping, peeling, pounding, and  kneeding just to name a few. Take an activity like baking bread where you have to kneed and pound the dough and stir and mix the ingredients. How about rolling out the dough if you are making yeast based dinner rolls. This is a lost art that not too many families are involved in , but that can help to develop a child’s brain., all because they involve movement. 

How is this so? How is the brain developed by an activity like stirring you ask. It is accomplished by crossing a midline in the body. When a midline is crossed in the body for example the left hand touching the right shoulder,  connections occur in the brain that make pathways so that the left and right sides of the brain are connected. There are 3 midlines, imagine them like an axis that you saw when you did graphs in your math classes. Yes I know you are going ugghh I hated math but this is easy I promise. So imagine your body or your kid’s body with 3 lines and the belly button is zero, where all of the lines meet and intersect. So there is a line that goes up and down and splits the body in half vertically, a horizontal line that splits the body in half horizontally, think separating the top from the bottom half of the body and lastly there is a line splits the body from front to back.

Sorry that that took a whole lot of words but I hope you can see  the picture in your mind. If not draw it on your own body in 3-D.To imagine the line from front to back , imagine you have a string that you would thread through your belly button and out your back.   So remember when you move up and down, side to side and forwards and backwards with your movements and you use opposite parts of your body you are crossing midlines and integrating the brain.

This is important because the more and greater the pathways, the better the brain processes information. Think of the analogy of a two lane highway  travelling in opposite directions as opposed to a super interstate highway with 8 lanes, 4 traveling in each direction. Just as more cars can travel on the super highway. More information can travel and be processed by the brain, creating a better brain and smarter children not to mention healthier children when you add movement.

The great thing about all of this is that with small children you can make up great activities that take advantage of these movements like “Patty Cake”, “Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes” song “Simon Says ” to music or just put on some music and tell the kids to follow you. The objective is to get your kids moving, and although it is recommended that a child gets 120 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day, getting them to move for 10 minutes in a fun activity will help in accomplishing this goal. You can spread these activities throughout the day.

Please keep in mind though that this 120 minute recommendation is for children in preschool. Sixty of the 120 minutes are for unstructured play and fun  while moving moderately to vigorously physically, while the other 60 minutes are with an informed adult or teacher for the purposes of physical development. In the latter 60 minutes kids are working on developing skills physically.

I would love you feedback and observations please feel free to comment. For a free ebook on keeping your child healthy please visit http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com

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