It has been weeks, if not months since we've been limited by social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public spaces like parks and hiking routes have been closed. All sports, team practice and games have been cancelled. Kids are limited by the lack of resources open to them to exercise their body and mind. With depression and boredom setting in, many kids are becoming weary of binge-watching, eating too much, and sleeping all day. Let's face it, there's not much else to do when you're stuck at home. National Fitness Day is on May 2. This year's theme is Life is Better in Motion. Understandably, many of the local activities that were planned for this event have most likely been cancelled. However, that doesn't mean kids can't participate. Therefore, we are embracing this year's theme of motion and adopting it to our new quarantine lifestyle. We’ll focus on how to keep kids’ minds and bodies in motion while staying at home.
Let's start off with the body. Obviously, visiting your favorite hiking trail or park is not an option. You can't take part in a team sport either. Options are pretty limited. If you're lucky enough to have a backyard, now's the time to take full advantage of it. Try running the perimeter a few times to simulate your favorite hiking trail. Or, run laps from one end to the other, incorporating a soccer ball to simulate a game. If you have a dog, try playing a game of fetch or keep-away with their favorite toy.
If you don't have a backyard, there's ways to stay active and keep your body moving inside. Look online for different fitness kids routines that are designed for inside the home. Start with a bit of light stretching. Do some jumping jacks to really get the heart pumping. If you're feeling very outgoing, create an obstacle course in the basement. Don't forget to always end a routine with more stretching. If your kids are into weightlifting, use things from around the house, like a jug of detergent or canned foods to simulate weights. There's also certain kinds of workouts that uses your own body weight in place of dumbbells. Think of other creative ways to stay active indoors, like having a dance party with the family.
Working out can also help lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you work out, your body releases endorphins that help you feel better. It also helps to keep your mind off of what worries you. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 minutes of low-level activity per week. That's less than half an hour a day. So even if you're not usually that active, aim to do something that gets you moving for at least 30 minutes. Even something as small as standing up for 1 minute between episodes of the show you're currently watching. Below are some FREE fitness-based activities we offer from our FREE CONTENT page:
For the mind, the best way to keep it moving is with mind games and puzzles. Play a board game with your family. Try ones that exercise your minds, like co-operative games or mystery-solving games. If you don't have anyone to play with, try playing a solo-based card game, like solitaire. You could also work on a jigsaw puzzle. Newspaper-style puzzles work great as well, like crosswords, word searches and Sudoku. You can also find versions of these games online or as an app. If you're more creative, you could try writing a short story. Make it a little more social by starting a short story contest with your friends. This can be done remotely, keeping in contact through video chat, e-mail or social media. You could also use this same concept to start a book club if you love reading. Below are some FREE mind games and puzzles from our FREE CONTENT page: