Fun to Move Around!
"Moving helps me think,” says Sejoon, a tenth grader at KIS. After a long period of sitting at his desk, he stands to stretch. He physically moves away from a task. And then, the ideas come. Yoon, a ninth grader, agrees. For a moment, exercise stresses your body. “But after,” he says, “You feel clean. Random thoughts drain. You can focus.” Layla, also a ninth grader, is a ballet dancer who stretches or does barre work to clear her mind. She says, “When I move, I feel like if I’m worried about a test or have an issue with a friend, all just goes away.” For many students, daily movement brings balance to their lives. Movement offers a rest and reset.
All bodies need some movement but growing bodies crave movement. Walking, jumping, and running help muscles and bones develop and strengthen as children and adolescents grow. Restlessness or foot tapping or wiggling might be your body saying it’s time to get up and move for a little while. Sixth grader Mia notices that walking helps stretch her legs, preventing cramps from muscle and bone growth. She also likes how strong she feels while playing volleyball. Third grader Theodore doesn’t like to sit still. “It’s fun to move around!” he says, “You can feel the breeze of the air and if it’s hot you can feel the heat.” His favorite sport is soccer.
Some students like to join friends to play a game, and middle schoolers Ian and Ethan miss the chance to meet up at a basketball court now. We all need to be cautious during this pandemic, but we can still find safe, socially distanced ways to move. Wear your mask and go for a walk or bike ride with a friend. Instead of playing a close scrimmage, have fun with skills practice. Enjoy how your body feels while moving. Hannah, an eighth grader, says, “Swimming feels free. Your body feels lighter.” Marie, also an eighth grader, likes to walk so long as she is going somewhere, and reflects that when she walks she feels healthy.
Practicing a physical activity is also a great way to challenge yourself. Twelfth grader Sydney likes to spin and has a Peloton bike she rides most nights. The programmed thirty minute sessions get her heart rate up and build confidence as she improves pace and technique. “Exercise makes me happier,” she says, “I have more energy.” Third grader Claire has a lot of energy too. She loves to run, especially while playing tag. “I like how you can go really, really fast,” she says. Claire also likes to figure skate. For the tricks and, of course, to see how fast she can go on the ice.
KIS encourages movement! Will Vreugdenhil, associate principal of activities and athletics, believes it’s important to give students many opportunities to move. Physical education classes, clubs and co-curricular activities encourage students to find a physical activity they enjoy. Mr. Vreugdenhil hopes students understand the benefits of movement extend to our mental and emotional wellbeing. “Quite simply,” he says, “The more you move, the better you feel.”
"Fun to Move Around!” is part of the Balance series which shares wellness stories and ideas from members of the KIS community.