10 tips for keeping your kids healthy and active at home
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With the pressures of modern living and the country’s current homebound safety measures, it can feel difficult to motivate your family to keep active and healthy.
Being active is an easy way to connect as a family and help your children release excess energy. Exercising is a sure-fire way to lift the mood and keep everyone (parents included) from having a meltdown. Vitality’s key principles of exercising while you’re well, eating healthy food and taking preventive measures are key to your children’s overall mental and physical health and sets them on the path to healthy living.
Show your kids how much family fun you can have while getting healthy and active together. Families that have fun together, get active and fitter together.
Here are 10 at-home exercise tips to encourage a healthy, happy and active family:
1. Build an obstacle course
Use what you have and create an obstacle course at home. Play hopscotch on the tiles, jump over tape stuck to the floor, do star jumps, or hop from one side of the room to the other. You’ll be surprised how quickly your heart rate increases.
2. Join in the fun with exercise and activity videos
If your child loves being active (and even if they don’t), watch some easy-to-follow videos on the Vitality Family Channel and enjoy being active together. Join your child in a yoga session and feel the stress float away.
3. Musical statues
Get moving as a family and play musical statues. Help your child brush up on their listening skills and impulse control. The rules are simple: dance when the music plays and when the designated DJ stops the music, everyone freezes.
4. Sneak in exercise
Not all exercise has to be scheduled or last for an hour. Try housewalking and have a competition to see who can take the most steps. Ask your children to help you with the housework, vacuuming and sweeping. It always works up a sweat.
5. Spend time together in the garden
If you have a garden, enjoy being outside in nature. Play ball or teach children how to weed a garden. Vitality at Home gives you tips for healthy snacks you can pack so you can have a garden picnic to keep your energy levels up. Remember to put sunscreen on when you’re outside.
6. Have an animal race
A fun way to engage with your child is to have animal races. Hop like bunnies, jump like frogs, waddle like ducks, or crawl on all fours like a bear. The options are endless.
7. 21-day plank challenge
Start a 21-day challenge in the family and see who can hold a plank the longest. A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. It may even motivate the family to practise, get stronger and even encourage a little cheerleading.
8. Family activity series
Each day, someone gets to choose an activity the whole family has to do together. For instance, someone could choose to do a boxing class on YouTube for one day, the next someone else could decide a bodyweight boot camp workout is best, then a soccer game the day after and lastly, perhaps a yoga session for everyone to enjoy.
9. Have a dance party
Dancing is a great way to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing. There are many fun, age-appropriate dance tutorials on YouTube if you want to learn some new moves as a family. Or just put on your favourite tunes and dance, dance, dance!
Consult a healthcare provider before beginning this or any exercise programme. The exercises and advice presented in this article are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation. Please follow all recommended hygiene and physical distancing advice.