physical fitness for kids

Keeping Your Children Physically Active During Quarantine

During the current quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be tempting to sit around on the couch all day long. After all, being indoors all day is often equated with watching TV and otherwise being sedentary, but this does not have to be the case for you or your children. Personal fitness is always a priority, and even during this quarantine, you and your family can get creative about pursuing fitness, both indoors and outdoors. Exercise is key to good health, both for children and adults, and a lot of good exercises can be done right on your own property. Local gyms and fitness clubs may be closed right now, but personal fitness can be handled in other ways. How often are Americans active, statistically speaking, and what can you do to transform your property into a personal fitness zone?

Medical Guidance

When it comes to pursuing physical fitness, you don’t have to guess about what proper health looks like. In fact, it may be harmful if you suddenly launch into a new exercise plan and new diet, especially if you have complications like a bad back, a history of heart disease, diabetes, or the like. So, you are advised to contact your private physician and/or local nutritionists and explain to them your plans to revitalize your diet and launch a new exercise regimen. These health experts (either in person or online via video chat) may then consult your medical records and set some safe boundaries and make recommendations, so your new plan is both practical and safe.

These medical experts should be happy to help, especially since many Americans typically fall short of established exercise guidelines. In fact, only about one in three children are physically active every day, and they don’t even need that much exercise per day to meet public health quotas. Just a half-hour of high calorie-burning exercise per day can meet this need, but often, children are sedentary and using electronic screens for hours per day instead. Some children are indeed active, such as when they go to summer camps or fitness clubs, though these may be exceptions. Many adults are also sedentary, especially since many jobs out there are desk jobs that require no manual labor.

Swimming And Exercise

Hopefully, pools will open up in the summer. But right now, public pools are probably not an option for you, but you might have other swimming options open to you. For example, if you live on a waterfront property, you and your kids may be able to swim in larger bodies of water, and if not, consider having swimming pool installation done on your property. Installing a pool or conducting pool repair might be too skill-intensive for the average homeowner, but if you look up and hire local contractors, they can get it done, and you are advised to choose the best possible spot in your yard for that pool. Ideally, the spot isn’t too exposed to the sun, nor is it under numerous trees that can drop a lot of leaves into the water.

A backyard pool is great for summer exercise since it works well with social distancing; it’s not as though crowds of strangers are going to be in your back yard. In fact, you may use the pool all to yourself, and swimming is well established as a good form of exercise. It works out all the muscle groups in your body, and it is low-impact, too, since the water holds up your body (which sets it apart from running and jogging, for example). You can practice all sorts of different swimming techniques in the water, and of course, you can simply have fun with the family for an afternoon, too. When it comes to water sports, your imagination is the limit, and you can burn many calories with different games and swimming techniques. But be sure your pool is clean and in good shape since worn out plaster can form sharp burrs that may scrape your skin. If you or your kids get cut, it’s a good idea to have some waterproof bandages on so a no one gets infected.

Fitness and House Work

No one is going to get a six-pack doing chores, but then again, in the context of the COVID-19 quarantine, a little hands-on busywork is still better than binging TV shows, and besides, this keeps you productive and engaged. If you are a homeowner, it is likely that you are falling behind on your outdoor chores, and now is a great time to catch back up. Lawn maintenance is a big topic here; most surveyed homeowners agree that a well-tended lawn is vital for their property, and they want to spend a lot of time there. If your lawn needs some mowing, go ahead and catch up on that, and if you are using a push lawn mower, that is a little exercise right there. And it’s not just that; you can also weed your garden, trim the hedges (if you have shrubs), clear off fallen tree branches or loose brush, clear any litter that might be there, and more. These are great skills to teach your children and the physical activity will surely be good for their health.

By planting a nice garden, you and your kids will be getting plenty of fresh air and physical activity as you move around diligently, building your garden and tending to it. Setting up the garden means arranging low walls of bricks or stone or plastic timbers to define its borders, as well as preparing the soil, transplanting all the desired greenery, and using a watering can or hose — all sufficient workouts!

Even if you are not making a home garden, you can get some exercise by using a ladder to inspect your gutter and clear them of all debris (be careful about it). Clogged gutters allow too much water to pool in one area, and all that heavy water can leak into the roof through even the smallest cracks and holes, so this may as well be done anyway. You can also, if you have the materials and strength, opt to repaint your house and make it look refreshed in the fine spring weather. This is plenty of physical work, mostly for the arms, and it can involve your whole family. Nothing will cheer you up like a freshly painted, stylish home, and you can do the same thing for your wooden fence if you have one. Repainting your fence, like setting up a garden, counts as a form of landscaping, which can also boost your property’s value and appeal when you put it on the real estate market. It’s a good investment on top of everything else, and you get a fine workout in the process to maintain your fitness.

Afternoon Activities

Are you and your family members often wondering what are some fun things to do this weekend? Many options are closed right now, such as going to movie theaters or public pools or musical venues, but not everything is unavailable to you. For example, you could find a local park that is open, and carefully enjoy an afternoon of fresh air with the family. As for safety precautions, be sure that no one in your family is sick when you go, and be sure that you don’t touch anything there and maintain social distances from other park patrons (six feet or so).

Otherwise, it’s a day at the park, with plenty of fresh air and room for exercise. Your kids can go jogging or running (or just walk the dog), toss around a Frisbee or football, and even ride their bicycle or skateboard. Bicycle riding is a popular option at parks since it is much smoother than going running or jogging (low impact), and it is a lot of fun and park patrons are used to accommodating bicycles. It’s good cardio, too, and many studies confirm that regular bicycle riding can lower risks of heart disease and boost the rider’s metabolism. So long as you are not sick, and you keep your distance from others, feel free to enjoy a nice bike ride at the local park, and this can work wonders to shake off any quarantine blues you might be having and refresh your mind. Being cooped up inside can make anyone feel down, so regular outdoor trips to the park or riding your bike down the street will counteract that. Your children can reap the same benefits, and this helps keep them occupied if they are starting to feel bored or restless while home away from school.

Mental Health and Coaches

Lawn maintenance and going swimming are great ways to work out, but if you have already done those, or if you can’t, you might want to get some alternate ideas. Why not try consulting a life coach or a health expert online? As mentioned earlier, it is a smart move to consult health experts before starting an entirely new workout regimen, and these coaches can devise a workout plan that can be done anywhere. If you plan to exercise indoors or on your porch, you and your children may be told how (and when) to perform exercise ranging from jumping jacks to sit-ups to lifting dumbbells, and many others.

The good news is that proper exercise does not have to look like Olympic training; anything will do, and an online coach in a video chat session will have all kinds of ideas for you and the family regardless of age or particular health concerns. You and another member of the family can also hold each other accountable, to help maintain discipline and morale. This is a common strategy for any workout plan, and you can try it, too. Don’t forget to keep a log of your progress so you can see how far you’ve come, and the video coach may tell you what your fitness goals should look like and how to accomplish them.

It is important for you and your kids to exercise the mind as well as the body. For example, as well as keeping an exercise log, you may also start keeping a gratitude journal, and in it, you will clearly describe all of the good things in your life that you are grateful for. These can range from good health, a secure financial life, nice house, friends, fun hobbies, and much more. Being grateful for your good health can motivate you further to start (and maintain) a new exercise regiment and start eating better. If you are nice and able-bodied, why not make the most of it and trim your waistline while having fun doing some home exercises? This can help you feel good about it in more ways than one.

In short, revitalizing your personal fitness and your family’s fitness can keep you and your children plenty busy during quarantine, and it can help you all burn calories, feel good, get some chores done, and enjoy some fresh air. That, combined with proper and balanced mental/emotional health, can keep you feeling (and performing) at your best.

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