At Gentle East Martial Arts, we teach our students that it is important to have and develop great balance. With the ability to balance you’ll be able to ride a bike, snowboard, rollerblade, climb on things, and do your martial arts kicks without falling down. Because you will fall less, you won’t get injured, the activities will be more enjoyable, and you will become more confident. The two things that help you with balance are being centered and having focus. For example, you must center your body and focus your eyes to maintain balance when riding a bike.
We also teach our students about the importance of “Life Balance”. These are areas such as diet and achieving a balance between nutrient rich foods and treats. Studying is another area we talk about as it is good to break up periods of intense studying with fun activities like video games, TV or sports. Another area we discuss is maintaining a balance between time spent with friends and family.
As adults, balance is also a skill we use every day and it’s often very challenging for us to achieve it in our lives, so we need to work on it more. As we age our ability to maintain balance during physical activities deteriorates as we become more sedentary, so we need to make sure we participate in activities such as walking, running and riding a bike or Martial Arts classes. Physical activities also create opportunities for Family activities as you can go for bike rides and runs with family members or even take a Family Martial Arts class.
As Parents it’s important to encourage your children as they work on developing and practicing balance in their activities and lives. You should also strive to be an example for them to follow as they learn many behaviors through imitation. By doing so, you open up the door for your children to participate in and enjoy many physical activities with increased confidence. Lastly it’s vitally important that we get enough sleep as it impacts all areas of our lives.
Here’s a fun little Call and Response Game you can play with your child:
Parent: Balance means to be centered and focused. What does balance mean?
Child: To be centered and focused.
Parent: Now use your fingers and say this with me, “Center” (Use fingers and point to area just below belly button.)
Parent: And “Focus.” (Point to your eyes.)
Parent: If you feel centered with your body and focus your eyes, it can help you have better…
Parent: You can balance the bike better by centering yourself and looking where you are… (mimic steering with your hands and stare straight ahead.)
Parent: That’s why balance is so cool. You’ll be able to play soccer, do gymnastics and other activities with great…
Child: Balance and confidence.
Parent: Now lets talk about another kind of balance – Life Balance. Life-balance is about doing the things that help you be your…
Parent: And who wants to be their best?
Parent: Awesome. Now in order to have life-balance you should learn something new every…
Parent: You should exercise and eat healthy…
Parents: And most importantly, you should spend time with your…
Parents: We can do that by…
Child: Riding Bikes Together.
Parents: And you should balance the time spent watching TV/ Video Games with…
Child: Time spent on studying.
Parents: And its also important to make sure we get enough…