The current COVID-19 pandemic might be keeping you and the kids at home and indoors more than normal. However, that doesn’t mean you should sit in front of the television or computer screen all day.
Physical activity is vital to the development of growing children and teens. Exercise can strengthen bones and muscles and promote cardiovascular health. It also has mental health benefits, including enhancing memory and attention and reducing depression.
How much exercise should your kids get?
This completely depends on their age. If your kids are between the ages of 3 and 5, encourage them to stay active throughout the day in any way they can.
Older children and teens can benefit from at least an hour of moderate to intense exercise every day. These sessions should include a mix of aerobic, muscle-building and bone-strengthening activities.
Here are some fun ways kids can get the daily activity they need indoors.
Spin it to win it
Challenge your kids to hula-hoop fun. This exciting indoor activity doesn’t just get your heart rate up, but it also works groups of muscles in the arms, legs and core areas. You can also create other fun games using the hula-hoops, so feel free to get creative with rolling, jumping and spinning.
Try balloon volleyball
To avoid any damage to your home or kids getting hurt, you can substitute a real volleyball for a balloon. To create a “net,” place two chairs at either end of the room and stretch a piece of yarn between them. Hit the balloon across the yarn using only your hands, feet or your head. See how long everyone can keep the “ball” in the air.
Play ‘Simon says’
Give this classic game a makeover by incorporating simple fitness elements. Focus on activity with timed goals like running up the stairs or completing 10 jumping jacks in under 30 seconds.
Get your groove on
One of the easiest ways to work in cardio at home is to dance it out. It’s the perfect way to put some pep in everyone’s step.
Challenge kids to make up their own dances, teach them a specific style of dancing, or simply throw a dance party in your living room. No matter how you choose to get your groove on, you’ll get plenty of exercise and have tons of fun.
Play active video games
Encourage kids to be more active while they’re playing their video games. Kids can stand or move around while playing any game. Some consoles have “exergames” that involve physical activity to complete in-game goals. Additionally, dancing-style video games allow kids to dance to their favorite songs for high scores.
Experiment with racing challenges
Racing games help kids build balance, stamina and strength. Partner up to play a wheelbarrow race in which one child steers by holding their partner’s legs. Hold a beanbag between your legs, and race down the hallway for a beanbag race. Get on your hands and feet and move like a crab for a crab race.
Promoting fitness through these simple activities can instill lifelong healthy habits in children. Looking for more ideas for keeping your kids (and yourself) healthy? Learn more about the nutrition services we offer at Bon Secours.