Healthy Minds And Bodies For The Whole Family

The new academic term has well and truly begun, and you may be wondering how to keep your family happy, healthy and engaged throughout the school year. We have a few suggestions for you about how to ensure that every member of the household is taken care of.

New Ways Of Learning: Building Learning Power
Building Leaning Power aims to help children become better learners both in school and in life by cultivating habits and attitudes that will enable them to face situations that they are not familiar with calmly, confidently and creatively. As a result, students who are more confident in their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable. For so many years now, there has been one initiative after another introduced into schools, many of which just have not worked. ‘Learning to learn’ is one such initiative. Research has shown that if students are taught these skills in isolation, as a set of discrete lessons, the students do not transfer the skills they have been taught into other classes or in their lives outside school. What Building Learning Power does is include the HOW of learning along with the WHAT of learning – they aren’t separate.
BLP aims to form habits through the ‘4Rs’ – Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reciprocity and Reflectiveness. The WHAT of the lesson might be learning how to write a set of instructions. The HOW of the lesson might be ‘distilling’ (one of the learning muscles) information that they have gleaned from their previous research. Eventually, these learning capacities become habits allowing the students to become extremely effective learners and capable of taking on the needs of the 21st century workplace. This cannot be said for far too many students these days because too many education systems are not taking on board the fact that life is so much more complex now, and too many students just cannot cope. BLP ensures that they are ready for the tests of life rather than a life of tests.

Take A Time Out: Pure Yoga

Reconnect with your inner-self, now that the kids are back in school. Pure Yoga, an import from Hong Kong, offers high quality classes conducted in a luxurious environment, which have proven to be a big hit in Shanghai.
The spacious studios offer great views of the French Concession from the floor-to-ceiling windows and there are classes on offer here that you will struggle to find at many other studios, including Wall Rope and Universal Yoga. Plenty of Hot, Flow and Stretch classes are also available.
The environment really is spectacular, with a changing room that seems to go on forever, which it kind of needs in order to accommodate the giant lockers, individual vanity mirrors (flattering lighting included) and even a machine to dry off your sweaty yoga clothes before you stuff them in your bag. Fancy!
Pure Yoga, IAPM Mall, 6/F, Room 615, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu. Tel: 5466 1266. Web:

Stay Connected: Maintain Family Bonds
By Dr. Nate Balfanz. Senior Clinical Psychologist at JJ-Premier Medical Care

The importance of time spent with significant others is magnified for those in the expat community, as work, school and a variety of other circumstances have resulted in separation from loved ones for, often, lengthy periods of time.
Most of us would not have made the commitment to living in such a vibrant, fast-paced city as Shanghai if it were not for a willingness to step outside our comfort zones and pursue something we found to be worthwhile. Perhaps it was an entrepreneurial endeavour, a transatlantic job transfer or an opportunity to study in a foreign country that landed us here. Regardless, we all know how easy it can be to lose sight of where our journey began, or how far we have come along the way. When we couple that with time zone differences, work responsibilities and the basic, everyday challenges of adjusting to life in a foreign community, it comes as no surprise that many of us lose contact with the family members and friends we used to see and speak to on a regular basis.
One might ask, how could we possibly find time to connect with our old lives when we’ve been so busy creating a new life here in Shanghai? And better yet, why should we even bother?
Research has demonstrated how maintaining the support of close family members and friends, despite the distance that separates us, can support both one’s physical and mental health. Positive social support from family members and friends has been shown to help reduce the likelihood of developing depressive disorders, as well as enhancing feelings of self-esteem and self-worth, and even thwarting the onset of illness or chronic disease. The research makes it clear that staying positively connected with the family members and friends we surrounded ourselves with before moving is a critical tool for navigating the inevitable challenges that come with living in a foreign community. As world-renowned psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Bruce Perry stated, “There’s no better biological interaction that you can have than a relationship.”

Get Active: Multi-sport

Multi-Sport is an organisation that caters for expatriate families living in Shanghai. They strive to develop and deliver physical education to international clients in a safe, supportive and motivational environment. Multi-Sport can help to make physical exercise, and leading a healthy lifestyle, fun! As we know, children have an endless supply of energy, and by giving them an outlet to burn this energy in a positive sporting way, it makes for healthy, happy and less demanding children at home!
Qualified physical education coaches, all of whom come from international backgrounds and specialise in specific areas of sport, run Multi-Sport classes. All classes are taught in English and primarily aimed at children aged between three to 12 years. Multi-Sport also collaborates with leading international schools, clubs and residences to provide a wide selection of in-house programmes.
Multi-Sport’s systematic approach to learning has been endorsed by a number of professional sporting bodies such as the British Gymnastics Association and the Amateur Swimming Association to provide internationally recognised awards. These progressive award schemes offer an excellent opportunity for children to attain an internationally recognised standard, which is a great incentive and motivator for participants.
Along with swimming and gymnastic classes, Multi-Sport also provides coaching in trampolining, basketball, Multi-Sport (a signature programme combining a wide range of popular games and activities), tennis, football and adult fitness.
Multi-Sport. Multiple locations in Shanghai. Tel: 5465 5715 Web: