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Children need time and space to move.  Movement promotes not only strength and coordination but also cognitive and perceptual development.  Children feel how their positions change as they move but they also learn the shape and nature of the environment and how they can interact with it. 

A fun experience for families is to search for as many different playgrounds as possible in your area and visit a different one each week, even if just for 1/2 an hour or so.  Encourage your child to be creative and think about going up the slide and down the ladder (with supervision of course).  Cue them to gallop or walk backwards around the playground to see how big it is. After they are done playing ask them what their favorite area was, or which area was the hardest to do.  It is good to move, but it is also good to think about how we move!  

What is Endurance?

Endurance is the capacity for your body to continue working (or playing or exercising) for a longer period of time.  It is the body's ability to provide energy, use it efficiently and continue to produce more without getting too tired too soon.

Endurance takes time to improve and we have to be disciplined to make gains.  It is recommended that we exercise for 30 minutes, at least  3x/week, at a sufficient intensity to get our hearts beating faster, to improve our endurance. 

Our heart, our lungs and our muscles have to all work together to provide and use the energy well.

Some activities that we can do for 30 minutes, at least 3x/week include:

  1. walking
  2. running
  3. aerobics
  4. bike riding
  5. stair climbing
  6. dancing
  7. ice skating
  8. cross country skiing

Core Strength

Core strength refers to the ability of our trunk and pelvic muscles to support our limbs and their movement.  If we don't have stable base to move off of we cannot use the strength in our leg and arms muscles to their fullest.  Core strength is particularly important for balance, coordination and force.

Typical exercises that work our core muscles nicely include:

  1. Abdominal crunches
  2. Plank, face down or sideways
  3. Bridging
  4. Single leg balance
  5. V-sit
  6. Exercise sitting on the therapy ball

Balance

Balance in important to keep us on our feet or in our chairs at school.  It enables us to move through our environment and amongst our friends in a safe and social manner.  School is full of unpredictable moving bodies, lots of furniture, different surfaces and levels to navigate and an ongoing menu of new activities to explore.

Good balance also improves our self-confidence and self-esteem.  Sometimes we need to use an outside support to keep our balance such as a cane, a walker, a railing or the hand of a friend.  it is a good skill to know when to ask for some support. 

Balance begins in our feet and ankles but our hips, spine and head are involved also.  It is important to know how to position our feet depending upon our balance needs and to wear safe shoes always at school.  We have to keep our feet and ankles strong and flexible so they can move where we need them to to keep us from falling down.

Some fun ways to improve our balance include:

  1. rocking on a balance board in sitting, standing or kneeling.
  2. standing on one foot while playing catch.
  3. standing in graded stance (one foot up on a higher surface) on a step, a bolster or a ball.
  4. walking on a balance beam.
  5. sitting on a therapy ball.
  6. walking over a soft, resistive or uneven surface.