How to Keep Your Family Physically Active during the Pandemic

toddler crawling in grass

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone’s lives in different ways. Chances are, you’ve even had plenty of time to spend at home with your family to flatten the curve. Now, with some schools choosing to continue with eLearning in the fall, you and your whole family might still be spending a lot of time together.

Making the most of that time by staying physically active is important for both your physical and mental health. Regular exercise is especially important for little ones. Not only does it increase their endurance and help to build muscle, but it releases serotonin. That can affect your child’s (and your) mood, and help them to feel happy and calm. In these stressful times, you can never get too much of a serotonin boost! The CDC recommends that “children 6-17 years old get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, while children 2-5 years old should remain active throughout the day.” Now, it’s up to you to make sure they’re getting the activity they need.

So, what can you do to make sure your family stays physically active during the pandemic, especially if many popular “activities” are still closed or limited? It’s time to get creative! From dancing to gardening, there are plenty of options to get your whole family moving at home.

Stay Active Indoors

If your family is spending a lot of time inside and everyone is going a bit stir-crazy, finding indoor activities that exercise the body and mind can help. Try some of these creative indoor activities to keep your kids busy while also making sure their minds stay active:

Play games

Balloons can be used for indoor “volleyball”, or simply tossing back and forth. Or, create a competition between your kids to see who can keep the balloon in the air the longest by tapping it.

Have a dance party!

Throw on some upbeat music and get the whole family involved. Even after one energetic song, you might be working up a sweat.

Build a fort

Let your kid’s creativity shine! You can use old boxes, blankets, pillows, and even furniture. Once the fort is built, they can spend hours in it utilizing their imagination. You can even include it as a part of an indoor obstacle course.

Your children can also help you around the house when it comes to DIY projects. It’s a great way to help your family bond together while staying active and creative. For example, now might be the perfect time to start a new, ongoing project like composting or upcycling old items in the house into something new. Getting your kids involved will help them to feel like they have an important job, and it can keep them busy every day.

Get Outside for Physical and Mental Health

While you might be spending a lot of time indoors, getting outside often is important for everyone’s physical and mental health. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can boost your mental health, reduce stress, and lower the risk of depression.

Thankfully, there are so many ways to naturally be active outdoors. You can promote outdoor activity with your kids by:

  • Buying toys that are specifically made for outdoor use
  • Starting an outdoor project as a family
  • Playing sports together
  • Going on a nightly walk

Most kids love being outside as much as possible. So, by encouraging it and making it even more fun for your whole family, you can keep everyone safe, active, and socially distanced by burning off some energy outdoors.

Read Next | Outdoor Activities for Children and Grandparents

Exercise as a Family

It may not always feel like it, but your kids are watching what you do all the time. One of the best ways to encourage physical activity is to set an example. Now is a great time to develop a regular exercise routine for yourself, too! If your children (and even your spouse!) see you taking care of your physical health, they may be inspired to join in.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great on-demand exercise programs you can do in the comfort of your own home. So, if you’re not sure where to get started with a fitness routine, check out home providers like:

  • Planet Fitness
  • Class Pass Live
  • Orangetheory
  • Peloton

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what you do to keep your family active, as long as you get moving! Make it fun for yourself as well as your kids. The more you enjoy the physical activities you’re doing, the more likely everyone will be to stick with it. That can make a big difference during these times of stress and uncertainty.

family waterfight
Read Next | 5 Ways To Promote Outdoor Exercise

Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

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