Psychological studies have recently shown a direct correlation between physical activity levels and academic achievement in both reading and math. This is for both adults and children. Because we have three of our four children in school we wanted to do what we can to help them keep their physical activity levels as high as possible.
The first thing we currently do is designate sundays as no-electronic days in our house. Especially for the kiddos. That means no television, no tablets, no video games, nada. They usually end up spending the entire day outside, which is really our intent.
The next thing we decided to do, in light of the discovery of the physical activity level/academic achievement correlation was to make our own running trail.
We’re fortunate to live on a few wooded acres in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado. So with marking tape, marking paint, a saw and a rake in hand our entire family set off into the woods to make a running trail that circumnavigates our property.
It took several hours, and honestly there’s a few more cairns we want to build before we’re completely done. But overall the results are amazing! We went back and lined the trail through the woods with large branches, and everything turned out perfectly.
All of the kids have already been enjoying it, and have been running the trail each day. Ultimately our vision will include obstacles like a chin-up bar, a swinging rope and we’re going to incorporate a side trail that allows them to climb the large rocks we have.
This started as a concept I read about in a psychology paper and ended up being a fantastic family endeavor and opportunity for us all to strengthen our bodies. I’ve been walking the trail every day as well, and am going to work my way up to running the trail just like my kids. We’ll start tracking our times, and I fully intend to beat their records.
In the end, it was a simple effort that has allowed our family all to increase our levels of fitness, health and has made each of us happier overall. Perhaps you can think of similar ways you can do things around your home and property that can do the same for your family.
Here are a few quick shots I took while we were working…