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Stuck for Kids exercises in Lockdown?

Do your children normally get their exercise through organised sport? Unfortunately Lockdown has put a stop to that.

This creates a challenge of finding ways to keep up their fitness and burn off that extra energy at home.

On top of that you may be trying to keep up full time hours working at home. So you don’t have unlimited time to take them outside.

Here’s some tips on keeping your kids active.

How much physical activity do children need every day?

The government’s Department of Health recommends that all young people (5 - 17 years) get at least an hour’s worth of “moderate to vigorous physical activity per day involving mainly aerobic activities.”

It’s a good time to start noticing how long your children spend doing highly aerobic activity so you can adjust if necessary.

In addition to the hour’s moderate to vigorous exercise, the Department of Health also suggests several hours of light physical activity. This can be made up of various different activities throughout the day, and might come easily if your children are naturally active.

However, as well as incorporating physical exercise into your child’s day, you also need to think about how you can limit sedentary behaviour. The Department of Health says we should break up long periods of sitting and keep sedentary screen time to no more than 2 hours.

Of course, if you’ve been trying to manage learning from home as well as letting your children watch their favourite shows or catch up with friends on the iPad, you might find it hard to keep to 2 hours. However, this is a good guideline to start with, recognising that Lockdown ia a highly unusual time.

8 exercises for kids during COVID-19 lockdown

1. Use online PE lessons

British fitness star Joe Wicks became a global sensation in 2020 with his online P.E classes, P.E with Joe.

You can always head over to his YouTube channel to grab his videos at a more convenient time.

Another great option is connecting with your children’s usual clubs or activities. Lots of providers have found ways to move online during lockdown. This also allows them to connect with familiar faces and maintain their social routine.

2. Build on their natural interests

Even if your children’s clubs aren’t online, you can still use their hobbies to encourage exercise at home. It’s also worth asking them about some of the things they do outside of the classroom at school, especially when it isn’t strictly P.E.

You might find they enjoy a visiting dance teacher and their recent lessons about the ocean, for example. Challenge them to come up with an under the sea dance that lasts three minutes, with costumes and music. Not only will this keep them entertained for quite a while, they’ll be moving the whole time too.

Of course, if they’re footy or cricket mad, then setting up a small space in your garden for practising their skills is a great option too!

3. Take scooters and bikes instead of walking

Not all children are fans of a long walk. Offer them a scooter or bike, though, and they’re often happy to be out for much longer. Even if you walk, they can still go ahead a little way and double back to you.

4. Leave sports equipment in view

Normally we’re fans of tidying up after every activity. But, you’ll want your children to take every opportunity to get some exercise.

Let them leave cricket bats, tennis rackets and footballs out so that the equipment catches their eye again and again. Make sure it’s easy for them to help themselves to their bike or scooter, if you’re happy for them to be outdoors without you.

5. Design family Olympic Games

When you’re not busy, get involved in your children’s fitness activities. Pick a country or town to represent, take responsibility for one activity each, and have everyone pick what their prize will be if they’re crowned as winner.

Activities don’t have to be complicated. Our favourites include:

  • Fastest in sack jumper (use old garden sacks or even dust sheets tied up).

  • Best dancer (try to pick a theme).

  • Most jumping jacks in 60 seconds.

  • Best basketball shooter.

6. Calm everyone with yoga for body and mind

Yoga is not only great for keeping us moving and building muscle, it’s also good at helping both children and adults relax through gentle movement and calming visualisations.

A great option for children who prefer their exercise to be part of their creative play, Cosmic Kids Yoga’s YouTube channel has sessions based around Frozen, Harry Potter and many more popular movies and characters. Cosmic Kids Yoga also does mindfulness sessions, has a playlist dedicated to calming your children and offers a yoga disco.

7. Gamify physical activity

Gamification is about turning activities into challenges and offering a reward. Create a chart for all the activities your children enjoy doing and have them put a sticker up every time they do one of them.

You could have columns for all the activities and total how many they do each day or record how well they do them. For example, if your child loves soccer, log how many times they scored a goal. If they’re tennis fans, see how long they can keep up a rally. Even timing your children with a skipping rope can work and Joe Wicks’ P.E classes count too!

8. Set a daily exercise time

Try scheduling a set time to work out together. This way, your kids get used to the new routine, and know that they have a certain amount of time to play before you come together.

Set an alarm a few minutes before and task your children with setting up, getting everyone’s water bottles ready. They can even make sure younger children are set up with toys before the rest of you begin. You can even create a playlist they can load up on the iPad, or let them play their favourite songs during ‘preparation time’ so the whole activity feels like a treat.

Staying active beyond COVID-19

Making sure children stay active beyond lockdown doesn’t have to be a challenge. The key is in thinking about what they enjoy and what they actively choose to do so you don’t have to force them into it. Lots of children naturally want to move about as they play, and with our tips you can guide their play to make sure they’re keeping active every day.


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