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 distancing (Government of Canada) 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 activity (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) breaks for your kids is the key to success.
Wondering how much physical activity is enough? Look no further!
|5-17||60 minutes||Moderate to vigorous||Daily|
|18-64||150 minutes||Moderate to vigorous||Weekly|
*Source: Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
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:
- Active for Life – raising physically literate kids (Active for life)
- PE with Joe- raising physically literate kid (Youtube)
- Roblox Fitness – Would you Rather (Youtube)
- Workout inspiration: Peloton and LesMills (free trials)
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.
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.
- Traditional sports and games can be modified to work with what you have and who is playing.
- A lot of activities can be adapted so all ages and abilities can participate.
- Find out what activities work best for you family. (Active for life)
Finally—have fun! Follow these tips to get your full house, happy, healthy and moving.
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.
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