by Karla Gilbert
Karla Gilbert is a former Ironwoman, a mum of two girls and a certified Level III and IV Fitness Trainer. She knows exactly how to keep your whole family active, even in difficult times! Enjoy her top tips below…
Reducing social interaction is a challenging prospect. It’s unchartered territory and although you may be juggling work from home while doing your best to uphold any mental burden of what’s upon us – there is also the added responsibility of spending more time with our children at home, looking after their unspent energy!
As extracurricular sporting activities are discontinued, we need a strategy for now. Staying active is important, perhaps even more so as a vital ingredient of staying physically and psychologically healthy in these testing times.
Don’t focus on the ‘can’t’
Our current situation is not ideal but rather than focusing on what we can’t do, it’s time to revisit what we can. There are undeniable benefits to remaining active so let’s view this as an opportunity to build healthier habits together!
Find what works best for your family
It is recommended that adults partake in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, while children need around 60 minutes of ‘huff and puff’ each day to reap health benefits.
Begin with setting small targets each day – you may involve your child/children in the decision-making process to help with motivation. 15- 20 minutes in small chunks throughout the day might work best for you.
You might like to place post-it notes on a wall every morning and take one down each time you take a step towards your health goals that day (e.g. took the dog for a walk or tried a new veggie for lunch).
Why not try some of the below…
-> Practice social distancing while walking around the block on a ‘nature walk’, finding pretty flowers and insects. This helps divert the attention away from ‘exercise’, and children may be able to even transfer these into art projects or google the flowers and insects to identify them.
-> Play balance games with your children with statues or hopscotch. Chalk makes easy markings on concrete and brings another element the children can engage in.
-> Music brings atmosphere, so rock the tunes like no one is listening, hosting your own version of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ at home with singing and dancing.
-> Ball sports are always a winner. Throwing, bounding, kicking even poison ball on the trampoline keeps active minds busy.
-> Take things inside and return to games. Twister is always popular and my daughters love dancing to Go Noodle. Teach your child how to hula hoop or skip but don’t be intent on them getting it the first time. Revisit it often, reminding your children that it’s OK for them to not to ‘get it ‘the first time but with practice, it will come.
-> Stream children’s yoga for the young ones, find free workouts on YouTube, or simply jump, spin and dance around the living room together – as long as you’re moving!
-> Make it a goal to discover each street in your neighbourhood within three months, (or six months if it’s a big one!) Throw on your runners and the kids can scoot or ride beside you. You’re out doing something active and that’s the main thing.
-> Keep a chart on the fridge where each person marks off their fruit and veggie intake for the day. Doing this is a great visual way for young children. Reward with gold stars, stickers or a treat such as a movie night at home for everyone – because all the extra activity has now given you a legitimate excuse to sit down!
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