With the world still in a strange state, it can feel as if most days are better spent crawling into bed with the kids and binging on their favorite Disney movies. While that may have worked for those hot summer days, as we approach back-to-school, buckling down and keeping yourself and your kids active is more important now than ever before. So it is time to get physical! Grab your whistle, your gym shorts, and get your inner PE teacher on! This is your virtual learning guide to keeping your kids active!
Why Kids Need Fitness
We all know that fitness is important for anyone, no matter what stage or age, but there are many crucial reasons behind why children need exercise! Nowadays, with children spending time mostly quarantining with parents, major changes are happening to how we are spending our time. There have been reports conducted showing that only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Furthermore, children and teens shockingly spend more than 7 hours per day on average using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices for entertainment. It is no wonder why about 1 out of 3 children is either overweight or obese in the United States. Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
These stats aren't here to make anyone feel bad for letting your child binge TV here or there, but rather show you how fundamental exercise is to their well being and development. If you are worried about making sure you and your child are getting enough exercise, here are some awesome activities to get everyone engaged!
For those who want to spend time outdoors and not be cooped up inside, take your child out on a hike and take a little trip around nature! Numerous parks are still open to the public during quarantine, providing enough space for people to still maintain social distance and remain safe. Hiking has also proved to have more numerous benefits compared to indoor exercise. Being in nature can boost your mood and improve mental health. Spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression, according to a study done by researchers at Stanford University. In addition to having mental health benefits, being outdoors opens up your senses to your surroundings and improves your sensory perception. As you walk with your child, do not be afraid to take in the sights, smells, and feelings of nature - so many health benefits it can even be prescribed by a doctor!
Parent and Me Yoga
If you prefer to stay inside with your child and get a little stretching in, parent-and-me yoga is the perfect solution! As we mentioned in a previous post, Postnatal yoga serves as an invigorating and peaceful way to treat your body and get back into shape, while also providing an amazing bonding session with you and your little one. Yoga provides an experience that isn't tough on your post-baby body and provides incredible stress relief - which when dealing with a toddler or child, can sometimes be very needed.
Some of our favorite poses are:
- Cobra Pose - Start by lying face-down on your stomach, pressing your pelvis into the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders, and gently push up until your arms are straight and elongated. Your hips, legs and feet should stay on the floor and remain in contact with the surface.
- Warrior II Pose - Start with your back foot turned out and parallel to the end of your mat, while the front foot points forward. Bend your front knee and sit baby in the hip area while you hold the pose. Quick check: Glance down at your front foot and make sure you can see your big toe on the inside of your knee. If not, turn your knee outward more to achieve proper alignment and relieve stress on the joints.
Play Games or Learn Some New Moves
If you are simply trying to kill time with your child but don't want to play video games or watch TV, get up and dance or play some games! Who doesn’t like a good dance party? Shaking it off to a few favorite jams is a surefire way to get your kids off the couch. To brush up on listening skills, try freeze dance. Fans of TikTok or Youtube? Thanks to helpful how-tos on YouTube, it’s now easier than ever to learn how to (properly) bust a move. You can even try to teach your preschooler or kiddos how to do the moon walk. If you have a balloon lying around somewhere, consider making a net by tying a piece of yarn from one chair to another and have a round of volleyball! The opportunities really are endless!
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