Keeping Children Active During Lockdown!
We know that it can be difficult to think of fun ways to get your kids moving, so Sarah, our Smoking Cessation Officer, is here to share her top tips to give you some inspiration!
“Not another walk, mum!” became a familiar phrase in my household during the lockdown. Those with small children will know that simply putting shoes and coats on can often take as long as the walk itself! Nevertheless, walks have become an important part of our daily exercise routine – an opportunity to switch off screens, to learn more about our local area and grab a welcome dose of vitamin D.
Last month, Sports England reported that children’s activity levels had decreased over the past year but despite this, new opportunities to keep children active have started to emerge. This shows a need to re-introduce regular activity sessions for children as restrictions start to ease and with this, address some of the health inequalities that have resulted due to the pandemic.
While walking may not have always been a big hit in my household, my children often found their own creative ways to stay fit and active. A mini trampoline that I bought many moons ago has become a regular fixture in the living room as my children bounce away to BBC Bitesize. Cosmic Kids on YouTube has helped us all engage with yoga and mindfulness. Our garden has turned into an assault course on more than one occasion and discos in the living room mean that I am now a resident DJ! My children’s dance lessons also moved online meaning that they could continue moving and stay connected with their teacher and friends. Adding the occasional scavenger hunt to our walks also added the fun factor.
One positive from our lockdown experience is that it helped us think creatively when it comes to exercise, and the more exercise we do, the more energy have and the happier we feel! I noticed that my children’s concentration levels have improved which was welcomed when tackling home schooling.
I recently asked my little boy what he was most looking forward to when lockdown ends and he shouted “swimming of course!” Until then, we’ll continue to train with Joe Wicks, do star jumps in the kitchen and practice ‘keepy uppies’ in the garden. My daughter has even offered to join me as I tackle Couch to 5k and all in all, we’re looking forward to continuing all these new ways we’ve found to exercise.
Recommended levels of exercise for Children: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-children-and-young-people/
18 tips for a woodland walk with kids: https://www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk/activities/doing/activities-walking-woods-kids/
Children’s activity levels during lockdown: https://www.sportengland.org/news/childrens-activity-levels-down-many-embrace-new-opportunities