Don't Forget to Move!

September 25, 2020

Our world feels very different right now. In addition to working and going to school remotely, social activities have been limited, we wear masks when we’re in public and we’re physically distancing ourselves from others.  All of these measures are shown to increase our health and safety, which is important while COVID-19 remains a health risk. It is equally important that we remain active despite the different schedules we are keeping. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways, including our activity levels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity for kids 6 years and older. Adults should have at least 150 minutes twice or more per week.

But with work and school are increasingly online, more hours are being spent sitting in front of screens and less time devoted to gym and recess activities. With fall approaching and a New England winter sure to be not far behind, it's important to start making plans for how to keep kids and grown-ups active,” said Marissa Hamrick, MD Family Medicine, GRMDC.

  • Go for a brisk walk or a jog outside to get the blood pumping.  If you are near others, we recommend putting your mask on, but if can be removed when you are in open air and away from others.
  • Have a family dance party! Whether learning a TikTok dance together, or just jamming to Baby Shark, dancing is a great form of exercise and stress relief.
  • There are the tried-and-true outdoor activities such as going for a bike ride, hiking, rollerblading, jump-roping, sit-up or push-up competitions, and when the weather permits, ice skating.

The Recess Bell Has Rung!

Don’t forget about recess! If you have the opportunity to be home with your child during a virtual school day and can carve out a little time, ask them what their favorite recess activities are. The classroom may be a little different, but recess can happen anywhere!

Streaming Gym Class

When the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activity, or if you feel like staying in, there are plenty of indoor options easily accessed online. Rebecca Dallman, MD, Family Medicine, GRMDC recommends GoNoodle. “GoNoodle has a lot of great movement games and activities for kids and makes exercise fun! Good Energy at Home is a free online resource that provides tons of ways for kids and families to be active, stay mindful, and keep on learning!” Dr. Dallman said.

Cosmic Kids yoga is a gentle introduction to yoga that keeps kids engaged and active while also introducing the calming effects of yoga.

If your child wants to build strength and fitness, Very Well Family offers easy exercises for kids that provide a great base for a lifelong fitness habit. “There are mix and match easy exercises to help kids enjoy active play that builds strength and fitness and they begin with a fun warm-up like dancing,” she added. 

Dr. Hamrick suggests free online fitness classes offered by the  YMCA or for the Disney fans in the house, try a 15-minute Disney-inspired workout.

The best way to help your kids keep up their physical activity is model it at home. Get the whole family involved! Set family goals to help keep everyone committed to getting exercise. 

Try to get the recommended amount of physical activity each day to boost your immune system, raise those happy-feeling endorphins and most of all – have fun!