With many companies and schools encouraging social distancing, people are working from home and kids are home from school. It can be difficult to encourage your children to do more than watch television and play on their devices. But it doesn’t have to be the norm for your family. You can encourage movement and bonding through activity. Following are a few ideas to get your loved ones off the couch and breaking a sweat. Not only will it allow you to disconnect from technology for a while, but exercising can also help boost your immune system.
Outdoor exercise is safe, as long as you keep some distance from people. Even if it is a little colder where you live, getting outside can be a great way to keep your family occupied and encourage exercise. Take the dog for a walk, play tag or just let them run around outside. Be sure to wash your hands when you come back inside!
Turn play into movement.
Kids are full of energy and always need an outlet. Show them that playtime can also be a form of exertion. Dr. Pamela Peeke, a triathlete, adjunct professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and spokeswoman on exercise and nutrition for the American College of Sports Medicine, suggests you “gamify” the time with your family. Instead of using the word exercise, turn everyday activities into games and playing. You could play hide and seek, or add a layer of competition into everyday chores that need to be done. By adding fun into movement, your children may not even realize they are exercising.
Jump ropes pack a mean punch as far as exercise equipment goes. They do not take up too much room and can introduce kids to cardio play. As younger kids are still developing their balance and coordination skills, they might need some help getting the hang of it. But once they do, they will be sneaking in exercise with every turn of the rope.
Keep it simple.
While you may be used to intense 60-minute sweat sessions at the gym, your current situation may put a cramp in your style and challenge you to get creative. And that’s not a bad thing! Is there a way you can sneak in 5 or 10 minutes of movement in your day? For example, bodyweight exercises like pushups, lunges and squats can be just the ticket to maintaining your workout routine. Bonus: Teach the kids these moves, and you might turn your workout into a family affair.
These are just a few ways to make family fitness a priority. With some outside-the-box thinking, you can enjoy healthier bonding time with your family.