If you’re one of those kids that got annoyed when your parents asked you not to slouch, you should take a look at today’s kids in their classrooms. Most children go to school in the morning, dragging or carrying their heavy school bags; they enter the classroom and slouch into their work all the way till it’s time to go home. Then they go home and slouch in front of the television or playstation until it’s time to do homework, have dinner, and go to bed.
I’ve recently taken my 7-year-old daughter Selma to a chiropractor to check her ‘alignment’. I’ve noticed her slouching more than usual and I wanted to see what’s going on. As it turns out, she had a bit of stiffness in the muscles around her spine and really benefited from two chiropractor sessions. When we left to go home after her session, Selma said to me “I feel like it’s no longer comfortable for me to slouch, I feel like I want to keep my back straight!” I also found out that Selma really benefits from regular back massages to soften the muscles that stiffen from hours of writing, slouching, and just sitting. And most interestingly, I was told to encourage my kids to stretch in the morning when they first wake up. All humans need to stretch and change positions often; we do it naturally (you can see it in action in babies when they stretch and stretch when they first wake up). All animals do it. Unfortunately, humans grow out of it as they grow older because we are constantly in a hurry; and so are our kids. So now, the new rule in our house is that we all have to yawn and stretch when we step out of bed!
About a week later, I was at my kids school trying to convince the principal of the benefits kids could get by doing simple morning exercises and stretches. Of course, there’s no need for the cliche morning jumping jacks, but I think a bit of stretching can go a long way. I heard of some schools where the kids do yoga in the morning. Wouldn’t that be great? What’s also good is something called Brain Gym, where kids are taught to tap on specific meridiens in the body to stimulate circulation and improve concentration, learning, and all sorts of things. I would love to get a Brain Gym trainer for the teachers so they can do something with the kids before they start their classes.
I will keep you posted on that one. Until then, don’t forget to stretch every time you change positions, especially when you first wake up!