City life for Kids: Tons of Homework & No Exercise!

In FAQ, martialarts, MMA by Maspeth Martial Arts

City life for kids is just as fun and hectic as it is for adults and just like adults kids can become overwhelmed by their responsibilities. Kids with a busy schedule can fall into the same bad habits as adults such as eating on the run and staying up late to finish what seems like endless hours of homework every day of the week. How do you help your kids get their homework done and ensure that they still get time to eat healthy and get exercise?

The Homework Trap

It can be hard to see your kids lugging big backpacks of books home after spending 8 hours at school. Unfortunately you aren’t the first parent to wonder what teachers do with your kids all day long. With all the new programs that schools have to facilitate to ensure all children are educated equally, many basics don’t get covered during the day at school. One core class that is typically only taught once a week is gym. To make matters even worse teachers can also fall into the trap of withholding recess as a classroom management tool or it can be cancelled due to bad weather and kids have an inside recess with no physical activity. This has to be the worst part of our education system because studies show time and time again that physical exercise improves academic performance*. It becomes a repeating pattern of crabby kids with bottled up energy and no outlet that makes everyone including the kids, teachers and parents unhappy. It’s not like you can skip the home work, but skipping exercise isn’t the answer either.

While it can be tempting to have your kids get started on their homework as soon as they get home to get it out of the way, that isn’t the most effective way to actually get the homework done or to ensure that they retain the knowledge. When kids get done with school, they need some exercise, especially if they had no recess and no gym. Having your kids exercise either at home or in an organized class or sport after school gives them a much needed break from academics and exercise that is good for their bodies. When your kids have hours of homework, have them get up and take a 10-15 minute break each hour to walk or stretch.

Busy kids can forget to eat or even worse eat grab and go foods that spike blood sugar, and leave them scattered and unable to concentrate. Keep plenty of nutrient dense foods on hand, feed your kids a healthy diet that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. You can make your own trail mixes and snack bags for busy times and make sure your kids drink plenty of water.

Why Physical Activity is Beneficial to Kids   

For kids exercise isn’t a chore, kids naturally like to play, run and climb. Exercise stretches muscles and relieves muscular tension from sitting at school all day and it releases hormones that relax kids and make them happy. Kids who may have spent a restless day at school can come home participate in physical activity and then settle down for homework and a nice evening at home. Kids who exercise regularly will also be tired at the end of the day and ready to go to sleep at bedtime. Whether your kids are playing with friends, playing a sport or taking exercise classes they are learning. Kids that play games have to learn inter-personal skills like communication, sharing and patience. Kids that are in sports or organized classes learn the same interpersonal skills as well as team work, discipline, persistence and co-ordination. All of these skills make your kids better able to cope with their busy schedules. It’s easy enough to put your kids out the backdoor or go to the playground for some exercise in good weather, but having a group activity also gives your kids a reason to exercise when the weather isn’t great. Seeing your kids struggle in any area of life is hard, but by maintaining a balance between academics and physical exercise you can help your kids to be happier and healthier.

Maspeth Martial Arts provides children a physical activity that will help them burn some energy as well as help them understand bullying.  For further information, read through Maspeth Martial Arts website at