10 Minutes of Movement Can Help with Homework Headaches

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Put the books down, the worksheets away, the computer aside, and take a movement break! A GoNoodle break is just as beneficial in the midst of a homework marathon as it is during class. It gets blood flowing and reduces stress so that you can dive back in with renewed focus. Even better? It reduces the chance of homework headaches. Too late? It can help your body recover from a headache.

Prevent Headaches by Exercising

Get moving! One way to prevent headaches is by consistent exercise. While that sports practice after school is great, it is just as important to keep moving regularly as you do homework — hard when those due dates are looming. The benefits are worth it! Cardio exercise will elevate your heart rate and your breathing as you get fresh oxygen to your muscles and your brain. Exercise also releases endorphins, making you feel happier!

Take a break with Fresh Start Fitness. These guys will get your blood pumping as their videos work your entire body. Dance more your style? Try Kidz Bop or Zumba Kids as you dance along to some of your favorite music. Whether it is through agility moves or fun choreography, your brain will be engaged as you move.

Try clicking “Sports and Exercise” or “Guided Dancing” for more videos to get your blood pumping!

Need a place to start? Take a movement break for just 10 minutes. Each video is 3-5 minutes long so stack two or three to make a 10 minute movement break that will leave you energized and refreshed. Build an energy curve by raising the intensity in the middle and then lowering it back down at the end; for example, do a medium-energy video, then a higher-energy video, and finish with a medium or low-intensity video before starting back on your homework. Here are some sample playlists to get you started.

Energizing Movement Suggestions:
Fresh Start Fitness: Pump It Up
Fresh Start Fitness: Geocentric
Go with the Pro: 400M Hurdles

Prevent or Recover from Headaches by Reducing Stress

Many headaches are stress-induced, or caused by too much stress. Keep stress low? Clearly whoever said that hasn’t seen an average student’s planner. There’s homework, homework and more homework. When you start to feel your shoulders creeping up towards your ears or pain in your back, shoulders, or neck, it is definitely time to lower that stress with a movement break.

Take deep breaths with Airtime and Airtime Space. Deep breathing lowers your blood pressure and gets your muscles to let go of the tension that has been building up (goodbye, back, shoulder or neck pain!). It raises the amount of oxygen getting to your brain cells, improving your focus and concentration. And with deep breathing, like with cardio exercise, endorphins are released, making you feel happier!

The videos from Empower Tools and Flow provide similar benefits as you stretch your tense muscles, breathe deeply, and listen to the positive messages. Maximo also provides an opportunity to stretch as you move through the poses slowly and with purpose. Maximo is a great option if, like me, you have difficulty holding still or if you need to really stretch out those muscles.

Try clicking “Calming” or “Stretching” within the Categories to find more videos to reduce stress and relieve tension.

Need a place to start? Take 10 minutes to cool down and stretch out. Slow down your breathing before moving into some slow, mindful exercises. Here are some sample playlists to get you started.

Stress-Reducing Movement Suggestions:
Game On: Airtime
Empower Tools: Bring It Down
Flow: Melting

Reestablish Focus After a Headache

Like cooling down or stretching after practice, your body needs to transition out of your movement break and back so that you are ready to dive back into that homework. It is just as important to transition back into homework-mode after recovering from a headache.

Calming videos can be used to cool down after a cardio break. These exercises will lower your heart rate back down as you take deep breaths and move more slowly.

Reestablish concentration and work on your coordination is Brainercise with Mr. Catman. Some of these exercises use small movement, which is great to ease your way back in after a headache. Here are some Mr. Catman exercises with small movements:

  • “Yes, No, Maybe, So”
  • “Swirly Fingers”
  • “‘I’ to the ‘L’”
  • “Shoulder Rock ‘N’ Roll”

Here are some Mr. Catman exercises that are great for concentration and coordination, but involve larger movements (or tapping yourself on your head):

  • “Forwards, Backwards, Armwards”
  • “Super Crazy Eights”
  • “Pat and Rub”
  • “Hand/Foot Challenge”
  • “Tap this way”

Try clicking “Coordination” within the Categories to find more videos to reestablish focus and concentration while improving coordination.

Need a place to start? Take 10 minutes to ease your way back after a headache. Make sure to turn the volume down low. Start with deep breathing to get oxygen flowing to your brain. Next, rid your body of the after-effects by stretching those tense muscles; your head will be still sore so move slowly and mindfully as you stretch. Finally, re-engage your brain with coordination challenges, while keeping the movements still small and slow. Here are some playlists to help reestablish focus after a headache.

Headache Recovery Movement Suggestions:
Empower Tools: Be Kind to Yourself
Maximo: Empire State
Brainercise with Mr. Catman: Swirly Fingers


Jessica is a Kindergarten Teacher at a public French immersion K-5 elementary school in Edina, MN and a GoNoodle Ambassador. 

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