When we feel our best, we perform better and are more productive – we are better focused, have more capacity for memory and our cognitive functioning is improved. The flow of oxygen and hormones initiated by activity helps to boost our mood, reduce stress, improve sleep and increase energy. To learn more about the benefits of exercise on mental health, read The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise from Help Guide. To learn more about the benefits of incorporating movement into the classroom, read Learning in Motion: Bring Movement Back to the Classroom for Education Week.
Move to the beat!
Search the internet for beginner dance moves, and build confidence by learning something new, such as a Tik Tok dance, hip hop, salsa or belly dancing. Or, just put on your favorite music and move like no one is watching. Learning Station Music is one great resource for children.
Do a little yoga!
This popular mind-body exercise includes mindfulness and breathing. There are a range of poses and online resources for all levels and abilities. Below are some of our favorites:
for children: https://youtu.be/L8t1TjWr3K0
for teens: https://youtu.be/6kJgTouHHeE
for anyone: https://youtu.be/QVoCmCLiFnI
Studies indicate that QiGong is an effective tool for relieving stress, and symptoms of anxiety and depression, although the research is limited. An ancient form of martial arts, the gentle and controlled simple movements are easy to do and can be easily found on the internet – one practitioner to check out is Jeff Chand on YouTube.