School is now in session and the whole rhythm of family life is changed. Fall in Alaska ushers in more than just beautiful colors, animals scurrying to get ready for the long winter and the last hurrah of summer. Labor Day weekend is coming soon. The Alaska State Fair, a great source of fun and entertainment, is also in full swing offering a terrific opportunity for great family time. Sometimes in the hurry and scurry of school and school activities we tend to lose our cohesiveness as families. In addition to this, students become absorbed in online obsessiveness, especially with their phones. Studies are now revealing that this lack of direct human socialization and increase of cyber involvement seems to result in more anxiety, depression and a sense of alienation among the youth. So how do we keep the same sense of togetherness as a family and keep our young people healthy to thwart these social/emotional pitfalls?
Living a physically active lifestyle, both as a family and as an individual is increasingly appearing to be an elixir for a myriad of problems that ail us: including social estrangement, mental health as well as physical health problems. While all schools offer some form of physical education and after school activities, joining The Alaska Club as a family provides for an additional outlet that will increase family togetherness and improve health on top of that. Many students are not necessarily interested in participating in team sports but would relish the chance of, say, taking a yoga class with mom, or doing some weightlifting with the siblings, or taking a swim with dad. It’s a double win because the family is enjoying the precious growing-up-years of the children and teens together while improving their emotional, mental and physical health. Many teens would enjoy doing a Zumba class, or hot yoga or playing tennis. There is a wide array of activities that families can enjoy together. My happiest memories growing up always entailed doing something active with my parents. Why not enhance family experiences and get healthy too?
Another benefit that is every bit as good if not better, is exercise among teens correlates to better academic achievement. One study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that students could improve their academic grades by fully one letter grade simply by exercising one hour a day. This means just 15 minutes will increase academic performance by one quarter! One study at Dartmouth College in the United States proved that low-income students significantly improved their attention span by doing as little as 12 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. If twelve minutes will have that kind of a beneficial effect, why not try an hour?
The Alaska Club offers all of this: tennis, racquetball, swimming, circuit training, yoga, Zumba and Insanity classes and more. The verdict is in: keep the vacation positive mindset going, anxiety and depression down, positive family interactions up and give your kids the chance to do their very best in school this year!