January’s Powerful Word Is Health

healthIt’s the beginning of a new month, and that means it’s time for a new Powerful Word!

Throughout January 2012, we’ll be working on the concept of “health.”

All our discussions and activities will aim to help our students understand that being healthy is more than just feeling good. It’s total well-being and freedom from disease.

Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts. It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.

Here’s a video from Dr. Robyn Silverman in which she introduces some of the concepts we’ll be covering this month:

Being healthy is more than just feeling good. It’s total well-being and freedom from
disease. As it’s the start of 2012, it’s only natural for us to take inventory of our health and the health of our family. But just as important, we need to help our children to understand and take responsibility of their own health as well.

When children are young, parents choose what their children are going to do and eat. As children get older, the responsibility of the physical and nutritional choices shifts to them. Of course, we can still buy nutritious groceries for our homes and encourage the best physical activity here in class, but children aren’t always under the watchful eye of a parent, teacher, or coach! We must encourage them to make positive choices.

Interestingly, in a study published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Dec 2011), researchers showed that when parents used stickers to reward their children each time they sampled a disliked vegetable for 12 days, children gave higher ratings to the vegetables– and were willing to eat more of them. Previous studies (July 2011) also showed that children rated meals unknowingly fortified with pureed vegetables as either OK or yummy.

Children can improve or maintain good health through balanced nutrition, daily physical exercise, a good night’s sleep, good hygiene, and steering clear of drugs and smoking. Having powerful character may also contribute to wellness since a clear conscience and a giving spirit always makes us feel good!

We hope that 2012 is a wonderful, healthy year for all of you. Perhaps you can encourage your children to set some “healthy” goals for eating nutritious foods, physical activity, sleep, and healthy stress relievers for this year.

This is the perfect time to make important enhancements that can positively influence the health of your family.

To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing over the next 4 weeks:

Week 1 Health defined: Nutrition, Physical Activity, Good Hygiene, Sleep, and Stress
Week 2 Nutritious Eating: Nutrition; the food groups and good hydration
Week 3 Physical Activity: Exercise, Fitness, Endurance, Strength and Flexibility
Week 4 Unhealthy Choices: Things to Avoid and Healthy Goal-Setting for 2012

We’d love to hear how your conversations go with your child so do share with us!

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr