Staying active—a family affair

So, you have a full house on your hands.

And now more than ever, physical activity is important for both parents and kids! It helps with physical health, mental health, sleep and the immune system.

How do you keep everyone happy, healthy and moving?

As a coach and Dad of two active boys, I’m happy to say you don’t always need structured sports to get in your physical activity.  Here are a few tips to get everyone up and moving.

Every step counts

You don’t have to be an athlete to be active. Every little step counts towards physical activity. Think hula hoops and hopscotch!

The key is to move your body, and bonus points if you can be active outside. Just remember: if you’re heading outside, make sure everyone practices physical distancing1 and stays away from public areas closed due to the pandemic.

For kids missing their regular sports and activities, now is a great time for them to grab their sticks, nets, balls, bats and gloves to get some practice—with mom and dad!

Make time to move

Planning regular physical activity2 breaks for your kids is the key to success.

Wondering how much physical activity is enough? Look no further!

Age(s) Time (total) Intensity Frequency
5-17 60 minutes Moderate to vigorous Daily
18-64 150 minutes Moderate to vigorous Weekly

Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Spacing activity out gives you and them a much-needed break from screen time and homework (helping with focus, too). 

Let them take the reins

This isn’t your same-old gym class! Let your kid(s) choose their activity of choice and maybe even make up the rules as they go. Keeping engagement high.

Dancing, tag, bike rides and yoga—the world is their oyster.

While their imagination can be endless, if they need a little help, check out these online resources and don’t forget your safety equipment:

Bonus tip: be sure to check-in with your gym teachers for additional tools and resources.

Be a (role) model

Remember to lead by example. Yes, this means taking a well-deserved break during your workday (working from home or not) for tip #2— make time and plan to move.

Improvise!

If you don’t have it, don’t sweat it. Now is the time to throw the rule book (but not your safety) out the window.

Finally—have fun! Follow these tips to get your full house, happy, healthy and moving.

Portrait of Eric Pfeiffer

Eric Pfeiffer is a Senior Health Management Consultant for Manulife Group Benefits. He’s worked in the Group Benefits industry for 24 years in both Disability and Absence Management, and Organizational Wellness. Eric has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo with a focus on work and sport injury. He frequently presents on important wellness related topics including physical, mental and financial health at various industry conferences.