Keeping active may be the last thing any of us feel like doing at the moment, with everything going on in the world there is a lot to be said for snuggling up on the sofa and escaping reality by diving straight into Netflix - however, it is when you don't feel like being active that you will actually benefit the most from it- so this is exactly why we are going to show you some super easy ways to keep activity levels up during lockdown. A certain level of physical activity is essential for our health and well being, being active has been proven to lower stress hormones while encouraging your body to release lots of lovely feel good hormones instead- so without further ado lets get those endorphins pumping!
Starting off with something super simple here, but sometimes simple ideas work the best! Set the kids a challenge of who can do the most star jumps in 1 or 2 minutes, see if they can beat their top score day by day! Many athletes also swear by skipping as one way they maintain their fitness, so with or without a skipping rope, jumping on the spot is another good one to boost energy and keep fit!
2. Balancing Act
This is a good way to work on concentration as well as overall balance, all you need to do is create a line on the floor for the kids to follow! Masking tape or washi tape works well indoors, depending on how challenging you want this to be you can start with a straight line or create a balancing obstacle course scaling chairs, sofas and tables!
3. Wall Sit
This is a great simple exercise for strengthening the lower body, if you or the kids are keen runners- or perhaps getting into running now as part of your daily outing, this will also help prevent runners knee. So lean your back against the wall, with feet shoulder width apart, then press back and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Knees should be above the ankles at right-angles, keep the head, shoulders and upper back against the wall and now the hard part- hold the position! Aim to hold for between 20 seconds and 1 minute if you can, then rest for 30 seconds and do it again! Repeat 3 to 5 times, trying to add 5 seconds each time, if you want to try and make this one a daily thing you can build up by 10 seconds each time!
4. Dance Break
Dancing is one of the most fun ways to exercise especially with the kids, this is a great way to loosen up after a few hours home schooling or a little too long on the sofa. Perhaps make it a daily thing to randomly play your song of choice and literally jump up and all have dance! Also and perhaps most importantly, Dance Break is a chance to show the kids the classics, we are talking Whitney, Prince, some classic 80's hair rock anyone? High energy moves are key and the more ridiculous the better!
5. Learn a Dance Routine
Keeping with the dancing theme, there are some amazing routines out there which could be fun to learn as a family- perhaps you already know a couple? Small perk of lockdown, it's just your family to look silly in front, of so really go for it! To get you started, here is a tutorial for Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, everyone better watch out at the first post lockdown family party!
6. Climb a Mountain or Scale a Building!
This is a good one to record on a chalk board as you go along or keep a tally chart at the bottom of the stairs for everyone to keep track of progress and hype up the competitive aspect!
Based on the average staircase being 15 steps, here are some calculations for how many flights of stairs it would take to climb some of the worlds most famous mountains and landmark buildings! If you don't have a flight of stairs, you can use the step count instead- also good to keep adding to it from any walks you take or loops around the garden, even if you just wear a step tracker at all times to see how long it takes to get to the top, make it a challenge between family members and get as many people involved as you like. first to the summit of Everest wins!
Mount Snowdon, Wales- 7,120 steps or 475 flights
Ben Nevis, Scotland- 8,810 steps or 587 flights
Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland- 5390 steps or 360 flights
Mount Everest, Nepal- 58,070 steps or 3,871 flights - a nice easy one!
Sydney Opera House, Australia- 435 steps or 28 flights
Big Ben, England- 632 steps or 42 flights
Blackpool Tower- 1036 steps or 69 flights
Seattle Space Needle, USA- 1164 steps or 78 flights
A classic, and depending on the age of your kids this is one that could entertain for a while, alternatively, draw your hopscotch grid in hallway or walkway between spaces at home, and the rule is that hopscotch is the only way to get across! If you have some washi tape or masking tap, this is perfect for marking out the lines and there’s no mess when you peel it away.
8. Stretch it Out
Stretching before and after strenuous exercise is really important, but stretches alone can feel amazing after a bit too long in the same position and they are all too easy to overlook! This is also a great habit to get the kids into early on, to help maintain that amazing flexibility they are often blessed with! Take a look at this page from BUPA for some great stretches to start your day and revisit throughout.
As well as the more heart pumping activities, its nice to take a moment to be active and calm- enter yoga! We love Cosmic Kids, it is super appealing for children, with loads of different themed videos to get their imaginations going. It makes a change from the more serious side of yoga you might be used to, whilst still seeing the benefits!
10. The Floor is Lava
Decide which furniture is ‘safe,’ set a timer and shout ‘the floor is lava!’ Everyone must get to safety before it runs out! This is a fun one to call out randomly throughout the day along with Dance Break above!
11. Obstacle Course
Indoors or outdoors, you could build the course and let the kids climb all over, or have the building be part of the activity! If you aren't adverse to totally rearranging your home for the purpose of this- then we think involving mattresses as crash pads, for climbing over- or bouncing on is a great idea, along with removing all the cushions from the sofa to create stepping stones, and creating a line of chairs to clamber over. This activity works well when paired with 'The Floor is Lava'!
12. P.E at Home
If you are home schooling, P.E is a good lesson to break up the day a bit- why not switch it up and see how much the kids can remember from their lessons at school, and have them teach the class! If your kids aren't school age or they'd like a bit of back up, there is always Joe Wicks, live at 9am every morning!
Some of the shorter activities above are good to mix and match throughout the day, perhaps you could create an exercise timetable with the kids! Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with your main activity being a lovely walk, we need to make the most of the opportunities we have to leave the house, and walking is a great exercise. Keeping as active as possible especially when we don't feel like it will help. Even just opening your windows and getting a good blast of fresh air through the house will make a difference to your mood, and might motivate you to try some of the above tips! This is a strange time indeed but one huge positive if you are at home now with your kids, is that this is a wonderful opportunity to bond and hopefully set up some life long habits, and create some amazing memories.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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