The quarantine is not only boring, but it also leaves a lot of people with significantly lower levels of physical activity. Adults are not the only ones affected by this. Kids, who are considered as a risk group for COVID-19 and therefore more restricted by the quarantine, are experiencing the physical effects of quarantine as well. Being out of school where most of their physical activity occurs is one thing, but they are also not able to go outside to play with friends, join sports games, or even run errands with their parents.
For kids, reduced physical activity can lead to weight gain, mental health issues, and weaker bones and muscles. To prevent these health effects from affecting your child, here’s how to keep them physically active while in quarantine:
1. Play sports in the backyard
For many kids, engaging in sports is the best way to attain adequate physical activity for the day. But if they are not able to go to the sports center or play in the field with friends because of quarantine, you can still encourage them to play by setting up your own speed pitch game in the backyard or installing a basketball hoop in the driveway. Not only will playing sports give your child the exercise that they need, but spending time outdoors can also be beneficial for their mental health.
2. Make chores fun
Doing chores is one of the best ways to get the family moving while stuck indoors. But the main problem is: doing chores isn’t as enjoyable as watching TV or playing games. So to get your kids involved in household chores, make them fun! Turn your tidying up into a game to see who can clean up the fastest. Play music and dance around while cleaning the house. Do garden work together and allow them to play around in the dirt. Better yet, get everybody to join in to make chores double as a bonding activity with the family.
3. Be a role model
Kids are impressionable, and they often imitate what their parents do. So if you spend all day lounging on the couch and eating junk food, best believe that your kids will do the same. And when you try to tell them to move around more, they will think it’s unfair that they have to do it and you don’t. That said, be a good role model and engage in physical activity as much as you can. For example, engage in a workout at least an hour every day and have your kid join in. Join them in their active games instead of just watching them from the porch. Limit your couch potato-ing so that they don’t imitate the behavior.
Remember, you are your kids’ first role model. Their behaviors will depend on your actions, and if you want them to be active, walk the talk!
4. Play active video games
Instead of video games that make kids sit all day, choose games that can get them up and about, even if it’s just in the living room. Examples of such games are Wii Sports, VR games (that require standing up), and dance games, to name a few. Choose one that you and your kid will enjoy so that you can get some exercise, too, and perhaps get the rest of the family to join in.
5. Limit screen time
During the quarantine, both kids and adults have more screen time, which often leads to decreased physical activity. One of the main reasons for this is online school, where kids have to spend hours in front of the computer every day, and this doesn’t include the screen time they get after online classes. Moreover, kids usually spend excessive hours on their phone, computer, or in front of the TV because their options for activities are limited now that they are stuck at home.
If your kids are used to spending hours upon hours in front of a screen, imposing a limited screen time might earn some protests. But it will be worth it in the end. With reduced screen time, you can encourage them to do other things that are more physically demanding, such as playing with their toys, doing chores, or playing in the backyard.
The quarantine life is hard, but it is necessary to curb the spread of the virus. However, to prevent the lack of physical activity from affecting your family’s health, use these tips to get your kids moving, even if it’s just indoors.
What do you do to get exercise during the quarantine? Please share your tips with us in the comments below!