Exercising outdoors with children
As we adjust to a different version of daily life, there comes a need to do things in a different way. We meet that challenge by adapting. We learn what works and what doesn’t, and we find new ways to do things. Ways that work for us and if we have children; ways that work for them too.
Exercising is one thing that has changed for the time being, and it has changed significantly. Gone are the gyms, the pools, the sports activities and the park playgrounds for now.
Exercise is vital to our health and wellbeing, how can we turn it into an activity which the whole family can enjoy? Here are some ideas…
Solutions from the past
Some of us fondly remember the times when every street had a Hopscotch game chalked somewhere on a pavement or driveway. What better time to introduce an entirely new generation to a fun and active game you might have enjoyed back in the day? Some thought needs to go into where exactly you plan to play it, a driveway or garden path is ideal but once it is all set up and the rules explained. You might be pleasantly surprised at how popular it is with the whole family.
Hula hoops are a similar, old fashioned fun activity aimed at younger children that can offer another ideal opportunity to burn calories, improve balance and give a boost to everyone’s cardiovascular fitness. The best part of all is that it is fun!
Making exercise fun
Teenagers can be notoriously difficult to engage but playing to their strengths and suggesting comfortable 30 minute sessions can often lead to success, as for the activity itself, well that can differ from person to person.
If you have a teenager who loves sports for example but might be missing their regular fix of football, the internet might be your first port of call. Social media and YouTube are both currently full of sporting stars training from home, ‘keepy up’ challenges are keeping some of the world’s most famous footballers busy at the moment.
Improvised card games
A great idea for sunny days in the garden, choose their favourite card game such as Uno or Snap, assign a particular activity to a suit or colour. Every time a two turns up for example that might mean everyone has to do two star jumps, or sit ups for a three.
It’s your game and your rules, get your children involved and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Running and cycling as a family
It might take some planning and even a little persuasion but the results can be beneficial for the entire family in terms of fresh air, quality family time and physical as well as mental well being.
It needn’t be a strenuous session like we might undertake if doing it alone, feel free to make it more relaxed and fun and be sure to take fluids for everyone to stay hydrated. Enjoy quality time together as well as physical activity.
You might want to combine running with relay racing or even tag if it is safe to do so, switch to high knees, butt-kicks or running on the spot if outdoor space is limited.
For cycling, try to work in an interesting end goal, it could be a landmark close to home, or a special treat when you all arrive back home. Remember as long as the exercise gets everyone’s heart pumping and blood flowing that’s the main goal.