Being at home without our routine classes, work, and school time can make us all feel a little restless, anxious, bored, and overwhelmed! What if we can plan a few fun ways to connect with our kids and leave some of the stress behind? We're brainstorming ideas for you and would love to hear more about what you come up with too!
Working out with our kids is a way to teach them lifelong habits and encourage them to develop a positive self image. How we model discipline, love, and an attitude of acceptance toward our own bodies can go a long way toward laying a healthy foundation for them. Along these lines, it's best to keep exercising fun, so our kids learn to associate movement with joy instead of punishment!
Here are a few tips and ideas to get moving:
Go on a walk through a local park and practice observing the life around you. Take turns identifying and describing one thing you can each see, hear, and smell during your walk. You can even bring some food and a blanket for a picnic afterward, if you find a space you enjoy!
If you have access to a driveway or paved space, using chalk to create patterns for movement and play can be an exciting activity! Challenge each other to make it through a Hop-scotch sequence, and see who in your family has the best balance. You can draw a longer swirl and turn Hop-scotch into a strategic game of Snail, taking turns hopping through each square. Whoever makes it to the end gets to mark one box as their own, challenging other players to jump over it. Eventually you all become expert long jumpers, or at least experts at laughing at ourselves!
Different size balls can be used to play catch or bounce between you. For extra challenge, try standing on one leg while tossing the ball, and you can build your core stability at the same time. See how many throws you can complete without dropping it, and track results on your own family record board!
Turn on the music and create some new moves together! Dancing elevates the heart rate, giving you that cardio benefit, while also building coordination and flexibility. You'll be surprised how easy it is to inspire and learn from each other.
Planting, watering, weeding and growing your own vegetables and herbs at home will connect kids with what their bodies need to thrive. Invite them to help you with simple tasks that are appropriate for their age. Whether it's harvesting green beans for dinner or wandering between rows of tomatoes looking for the ripest fruit, they will experience the wonder and pleasure of using their own hands (and muscle!) to feed their family.
General guidelines for keeping kids safe during exercise include supervising them, keeping activities under one hour with adequate rest, and making sure the area is clear of any objects that could fall and cause injury. Be aware of the temperature and humidity for outdoor activities as children sweat less than adults and provide ample hydration. Kids can lift weights as long as they use good technique and start with a light to moderate intensity (the same as any age). Body weight exercises like mountain climbers, squats, and planks can be good to start, to make sure they have a solid foundation.
Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns about your family's exercise needs, and our team will be happy to provide more direction and support!