Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
Back in January our homeschool group, P226 Innovative Homeschoolers, had the amazing honor of hearing from a local Chick-Fil-A owner. He spoke to our group about leadership. This young man was not yet 30-years-old, and he was locally homeschooled, so it was a great joy to have him speak to our homeschoolers.
He shared a lot of wonderful leadership tips with our students, but he said one thing I was very surprised to hear. He said; one of the best attributes of a great leader is staying active. He didn’t just make that up. He learned this from a leadership book he read called, Extreme Ownership. I was very excited he shared this with our students. In addition to our homeschool group we also own a homeschool physical education program called, Gifted Athletes Homeschool PE, so our passion is keeping students active and to hear a young local leader share this with our homeschoolers was very inspiring.
Here’s a question for you as a home educator; do you keep your children active? If no, why not? There have been many studies that show living a healthy active lifestyle is vital to a healthy mind.
Physical activity is important for everyone. Not only can it reduce the risk of some diseases, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, but it keeps our bodies at a healthy weight and benefits our mental health as well. When we exercise, our breathing increases and our heart starts pumping more oxygen-filled blood to our muscles. The increased blood flow also benefits our brain, allowing it to almost immediately function better. As a result, we tend to be more focused after exercise of any kind. Therefore, exercise is one of the best prevention and treatment strategies for depression. Physical exercise actually changes the level of serotonin in the brain by increasing the levels of the “feel good” hormones, or endorphins. Endorphins are well-known for their role in mood control.Reference; MSU.edu
How often do we get on our children for being “moody?” Why are they moody?
Maybe take a walk with them or go on a jog with them and together you can both have healthier bodies and healthier minds.
All of our children have always been active, and our younger children who are still in the home are all very active several times a week. In addition, me and my husband go to the gym and/or on jogs with them to keep them motivated. As I type this post, we recently were on a Saturday morning, 6:30am jog with a workout group my husband Omar is working with for a local homeschool basketball team. I tagged along, including my 7-year-old and 17-year-old.
Jaden our 17-year old
The Wrong Type of Activity
Unfortunately, however, most of us get plenty of “physical activity” using our phones all day long, looking at social media, TV and video games; yet that time spent wasted on such things can be better utilized by being active as a family. You can impart something so amazing and special into your family by being active together.
Studies have also shown that children who are active have a better advantage in weight control and staying focused in school.
According to the American Council on Exercise, the obesity epidemic among children ages 6-19 has reached 15 percent, almost quadruple what it was in the late 1960s. By spending extra time on the playground or participating in a sport, children reap the same benefits resulting in more focus at school and better outlook on relationships and school overall. Physical activity will prevent youth from becoming obese or help them lose weight, as well as teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
The only issue with this is most people believe any type of activity is good physical actively which is not true. I have seen plenty of students on organized sports teams who are overweight. Sport teams are generally not trying to work on your overall health. Their focus is the team sport and fundamentals- so simply putting your child in soccer, basketball, volleyball and so forth will not truly work on their core body for better health. Students need to be in a directly focused intentional physical education regimen to have a healthier body overall. If children are simply put on a sports team and they can see their bodies are not getting better developed they won’t be motived to continue – and thus – this could make them demotivated in other areas – including their school work.
All four of our younger children play organized sports. In addition, they are a part of our homeschool PE program three times a week. In addition, the older ones, go to the gym three times a week. In addition, the two who play basketball also workout on an off season core body development program for their basketball team!
Be a part of this with them!
Don’t simply put your children in something just to keep them busy. Don’t simply tell them to go outside and play! (Although nothing is wrong with being outside to play)
But don’t simply get rid of them so you can get stuff done. Be on this journey with them for their overall health and yours!
I think back often to the days of Jesus Christ and how they ate fish, dates, berries and walked everywhere! Wow! Can we imagine how healthy they lived! It takes tremendous motivation and effort these days to live that way, but it’s not impossible and it can be done.
Being active is not something we should blow off or make secondary like it’s something we can do if we feel like it or have the time.
Rethink your homeschool journey with your children. Of course we have to ensure they are properly educated in their school subjects, but it’s also extremely important to ensure their bodies are healthy too.
1: Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God?”
So let’s put this all together. Studies show that children who are physically active have better self-esteem. I wonder if this is part of the connection with leadership. Connecting all the dots… physical activity helps you develop a healthy body, controls your weight, improves your mental health, improves schoolwork, and can help children have better self-esteem. These are all attributes of great leadership. Do you want your children to develop into healthy leaders?
Don’t neglect physical activity. I can assure you that sitting on your and their phone all day, looking at TV and playing videos too often will not accomplish this for them or you. Start something exciting and new on your homeschool journey and get active as a family!
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
~Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS