As a parent during the COVID-19 pandemic, not only are you balancing work schedules and keeping up with your children’s online learning classes, you may also be facing the challenge of ensuring your family gets enough daily physical activity. With so many competing priorities, it can be overwhelming to think about adding yet another task to your day.
The current physical activity guidelines for Americans states that children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity each day for good physical and mental health. Getting kids active does not have to be hard work, it can be a fun activity for the whole family. Here are some quick and easy tips to add physical activity to your children’s day:
- Have a dance party. Let your kids be the DJ and have them take turns showing off their best dance moves.
- Go on a color hunt. Hide colorful objects around the house and have your kids bring back an item with the color you name. For a bigger challenge, ask your kids to run, jump, swim, skip, crawl, or dance to the colorful object and back.
- Play active games. For example, you can play Nerf basketball, balloon volleyball, Simon Says, or create an indoor obstacle course.
- Break up sitting time. Plan an instant recess and have everyone engage in light calisthenics like jumping jacks, squats, pushups, sit-ups, marching in place, or hula hoop.
- Turn on an exercise video. Many online services offer free virtual fitness classes you can play on your tv or tablet.
- Stay connected. Consider asking your children’s school if they plan on incorporating exercise into their virtual learning curriculum.
- Walk or run outside with your kids. If you have a dog, make walks a family activity. If you don’t have any pets, add different activities to your walk, like seeing who can get to a chosen destination first.
- Get out on wheels. Ride a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, or scooter on a bike path, in an empty parking lot, or through your neighborhood.
- Practice drills. Help your children stay sharp and develop their skills by shooting basketball, kicking a soccer ball, tossing a football, throwing a baseball, or practicing whatever sport they play.
- Explore the trails at a local park. Nature can help relieve stress and strengthen your immune system.
For more ideas, tips, and tools on how you can get your kids moving throughout the day, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Move your Way Website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has recommendations to help you add physical activity to your family’s daily routine, including safety tips and recommendations for children with disabilities. Breaking up the day with some fresh air and activity times can be a fun way to boost morale and improve family fitness.
Always consult with your physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. For more information on employee resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.