Help, My Kid is Home for Winter Break!…10 Ways to Train the Mind and Body While Saving Your Sanity

So, you’ve got an active kid who is home for the holidays. Yeah, a few days engaged with the new toys and they’re bouncing off the walls. Or, whining that they’re bored, bored, bored.

These days, the “boredom” sends kids to their screens. TV, computer, smart phone, ipad. Attention_spanYou know the drill; it’s a sign of the times. While it may be a nice respite for us from their whining, I’m not sure that it’s so good for them – and I’m not just talking about physically. I wonder if our penchant for entertainment coming from every direction at all hours in all circumstances leaves us craving input when it’s absent.

That means the screen hours leave us with less healthy bodies and hungry minds. Passive entertainment doesn’t satisfy; it leaves us hungry.

Here are 10 activities which designed to occupy the body but focus the mind.  The actions require little or no brain engagement, leaving the mind open to wander and play. This is space our kids rarely have, but really need for their minds to grow and be creative.

Young, active kids have fast growing bodies and minds. They are laying down new brain pathways as well as developing stronger muscles. Physical activity strengthens the muscles. Letting the brain explore and land on its own focus  – without confining it to a specific project or reading assignment – may strengthen those neural pathways. I just wonder if it would ward off a few of those potential concussions.

Try these for body-brain training over the holidays. Engage the physical and feed the brain without outside input. No headphones, ear buds or piped in tunes.

  1. Walk and listen to the wind in the tress, the birds, the …
  2. Jog or bicycle and tune into your breathing
  3. Curl a weight while praying or meditating
  4. Juggle a soccer ball continuously
  5. Face to face conversation without an agenda
  6. Sketch – paint – doodle – color without lines Concentration on model
  7. Shoot hoops but don’t keep score
  8. Bounce a tennis ball on a racquet and listen to the sound as it hits the strings
  9. Drive or ride in the car with phone and radio off
  10. Shower and let the thoughts rain down

See if your whole family doesn’t feel a bit stronger and smarter after the holidays. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas from Fit2Finish!

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