The COVID-19 epidemic has changed our lifestyle and habits. Now, many adults work from home. Home learning is replacing school-based education for children and teenagers, which has brought new challenges, such as an increased reliance on Internet resources. In tackling these challenges, we should remember some brain-health basics, such as the importance of adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Here, I will concentrate on the last aspect.
Exercise is beneficial for your health. It can reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Also protects you against anxiety, stress, and depression. It is also linked to better learning results and concentration in children. Exercise should be incorporated into both our new work habits and the new study habits of children.
Live group sessions via Zoom or Skype can be very motivating. Why not get a group together of family or friends to exercise and encourage each other?
In the UK, NHS recommends young people between the ages of 5 and 18 engage in 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day. Normal times include walking the children to school or playing on the playground. It can be difficult to achieve this goal, as the closure of public places and restrictions on social gatherings make outdoor exercise more difficult or impossible. It is crucial to review country-specific guidelines for outdoor activities during this period, as these are rapidly evolving due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
It is possible to exercise indoors! Why not create a small dance area in your home? You could run up and down stairs instead of running outside. Or you can do aerobics or other indoor exercises.
Many online exercise classes do not require a lot of specialized equipment (e.g., You will need a mat, towel, or workout clothes. For children, skipping ropes are available, while for teens, water bottles can be used to create improvised weights. Instructors demonstrate how to perform exercises in videos that teach proper form.
Live group sessions via Zoom or Skype can be very motivating. Why not get a group together of family or friends to exercise and encourage each other? It’s a fun way to introduce new activities to children and families.
The best way to approach this is to establish a routine, set goals, and stick to a schedule.
It is best to establish a routine and stick to it. This could mean that children exercise first thing in the morning or in between sessions of learning, giving them the chance to burn excess energy like they would at recess. Regular exercise throughout the day can benefit everyone.
It is unhealthy for children and adults to sit still for long periods. Adults who work from home can benefit from active exercise sessions to release pent-up energy and stretch their legs.
Exercise is not a waste of your time. It relieves stress and improves concentration and focus!
Together, parents and educators can identify issues and develop strategies that may best suit a particular child.
The practical suggestions are helpful, but to truly support young people with DCD, parents and children need more support and recognition. The UK research shows how little help is available. A study found that 43% of parents who had children diagnosed with DCD received no help whatsoever. In a survey of adolescents with DCD, 37% did not receive formal education support at school. It is important to take legal measures such as a support program led by a special education coordinator or an occupational psychologist, who can devise strategies and adjust classrooms. The difficulties that children face may snowball with time. The study explains that secondary problems, such as reduced participation in school activities and less supportive friends, are common in DCD. These can lead to a downward spiral of poor academic results and less engagement.
One of the biggest barriers to learning is the lack of awareness that DCD can affect a child’s ability to learn. Teachers and parents can collaborate to create manageable tasks for children that will engage them in learning activities. Without formal support in educational settings for young people with DCD, they are likely to fall further behind.