We are all experiencing a different way of life these days. As parents, we have been presented with a new dynamic of educating our kids and keeping them active. Let’s focus on the good stuff and put some ideas in your tool kit to keep those kids moving and yourself sane! These are obviously a bit age-dependent but so plug them in where you find it helpful.
You can literally make your own home gym with odds and ends from around the house.
First off, movement doesn’t have to be complicated. We can limit movements to bodyweight exercises.
You can also get creative with a bit of loading. Assuming you don’t have any dumbbells or other workout gear laying around, go on the hunt! Bags of dog food or water softener work great. Save those gallon milk jugs and fill them up with water. Grab a bag of play sand from Lowes or Home Depot. You get the idea. Get creative and have fun with it. You can load any of the movements listed above with these objects.
Clubs: sit up
Don’t stress on teaching your kids perfect form.
Have each person in the family randomly draw a card. Whatever suit you draw is the exercise you have to complete. The number on the card is how many reps you have to do! Jack is 11, Queen is 12, King is 13, and Aces are 14…. Careful on this one as the reps can add up! Put a time limit that you are comfortable with and continue to rotate through till the time is up. Some will get in more work than others, depends on how lucky… or unlucky you get.
The great thing about truly functional movement is they do it nearly every day anyway. Picking things up off the floor, sitting down and standing up, putting something on a shelf, etc are all things we know how to do. Moving is more important than being paralyzed by a lack of education on how to instruct movement. You don’t have to have a fancy certification in order to keep your family safe and moving well.
If you have a reward for the younger ones things generally go better. It could be another activity like a family nerf gun battle, or even some screen time…yes, it’s ok to have your kids on them a bit right now. Especially if it motivates them to do some other activity.
My kids are 10 and 8 and we have been telling that that they have to do gym class. Teachers said so and we have to follow the rules. Not necessarily true…but it’s working for now.
Many of us can still get outdoors in some way or another but if we are truly social distancing then it’s with our immediate family. Make the dog walks, hikes, or bike rides fun and adventurous. Our simple dog walk has turned into one lap with the dogs and a second lap without. We have had everything from footballs being thrown around to lacrosse sticks, bikes, and even short jogs. Movement is SO important. I believe we all need it in order to thrive which is exactly what we can do for ourselves and our kids. My encouragement to you is not just to feel like you have to “survive” this time but really find some true growth through it. Let’s find a way to thrive.
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