An easy way to connect as a family, and help your children release excess energy is to be active. Exercising is a sure fire way to lift the mood and keep everyone (parents included) from having a meltdown. Staying fit and healthy is key to your children’s overall mental and physical health and can set them on the healthy-living path early on.
Show your kids how much family fun you can have while getting healthy and active together, using these exercise sessions as a bonding opportunity for the whole family. Families that have fun together, get active and fitter too.
Here are our top 10 at home exercise tips to encourage a healthy, happy and active family:
- Build an obstacle course
Use what you have and create an obstacle course at home. Play hopscotch on the tiles, jumping over tape stuck to the floor, doing star jumps & hopping from one side of the room to the other are all easy ideas to use. You’d be surprised how quickly your heart rate increases.
- Encourage your children to follow exercise and activity videos
If your child loves being active (and even if they don’t), find some easy-to-follow age appropriate YouTube videos and enjoy being active together. Join your child in a yoga session and feel the stress float away.
- Musical statues
Get moving as a family and play musical statues. Help your child brush up on their listening skills, and impulse controls. The rules are simple: dance when the music plays and when the designated DJ stops the music, everyone freezes.
- Sneak in exercises
Not all exercise has to be scheduled or last for an hour. Ask your children to help you with the housework, vacuuming and sweeping always works up a sweat!
- Spend time together in the garden
Spend time in the garden so you can enjoy being outside in nature. Kick a ball around or play netball together. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach children how to weed a garden. Why not pack some healthy snacks and have a garden picnic to keep your energy levels up! Remember to put sunscreen on when you’re outside.
- Have a fun animal race
A fun way to engage with your child and get you out of your comfort zone is to have animal races. Hop like bunnies, jump like frogs, waddle like ducks, crawl on all fours like a bear. The options are endless.
- 21-day plank challenge
Start a 21-day challenge in the family and see who can hold a plank for the longest. A little bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. It may even motivate the family to practice, get stronger and encourage a little cheerleading too?
- Family activity series
Each day, a family member gets to choose an activity the whole family has to do together. For instance, someone could choose to do a boxing class on YouTube for one day, the next day someone could decide a family bodyweight boot camp workout is best, dad could choose a soccer game the day after and lastly, mom might suggest a yoga session for everyone to enjoy.
- Go swimming
Being in a pool with your children is a wonderful bonding experience whether they are learning how to swim or have mastered basic swimming skills. If you have a swimming pool at home, this is a great way to release some energy.
- Have a dance party
Dancing is a great way to get the blood pumping and endorphins flowing. There are so many fun, age appropriate dance tutorials on YouTube if you want to learn some new moves as a family. If not, put on your favourite tunes and dance, dance, dance!
To reduce the risk of injury, please consult a healthcare provider before beginning this or any exercise programme. The exercises and advice presented in this article are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation. In light of the latest government directive, please follow all recommended hygiene and social distancing advice outside of the safety of your home.
Visit the Vitality at Home page (https://www.discovery.co.za/vitality/vitality-at-home-exercise-nutrition-health) for more ideas on how to stay healthy and rewarded at home.
Keep up to date with the latest Vitality news on Facebook (Discovery Vitality) and Twitter (@Vitality_SA).
Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay rewarded.