Even if the weather isn’t currently ideal for outdoor play, children can still be active and get exercise indoors. According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease and Prevention, children and adolescents should engage in 60 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every day. So instead of having your kids watch TV or play video games when the weather isn’t ideal for outdoor activities, suggest these indoor activities that are both fun and promote fitness.
Catch-and-Tap-a-Balloon race: After blowing up a few balloons and releasing them into the air, ask children to gently tap them in the air so they don’t touch the ground. Make it a competition of how long they can keep the balloons airborne. Just remember not to leave young children unattended with balloons, since popped balloons could pose a choking hazard.
Freeze Dance: Dancing is a fun, creative way for children to burn some calories. Have one child be the DJ by putting on some great dance music, and instruct the rest of the kids to dance up a storm. When the DJ pauses the music and says “freeze,” the dancers stop and only resume dancing when the music goes back on. So that every child has an opportunity to dance and to rest, have them take turns on being dancers and being the DJ.
Tick, Tock, Beat the Clock competition: Make a list of activities that can be done in place, such as running in place, hopping on one leg, doing sit-ups or doing jumping jacks. Using a timer or stopwatch, choose one of those activities with different intervals (easiest 2 minutes, hardest 5 minutes) and see how many moves they can make within the time sequence. The child who can do the most within that time limit is the winner. Remember to change up the order of the exercise activity to make the game more interesting and challenging.
These impromptu indoor “workouts” not only get children to build muscle and keep active, but also allow them to burn off the excess energy they may have from being cooped up in the house. This leads to calmer kids, which means less frazzled parents!
For more fun ideas on how to incorporate more exercise into your household, if you are a Health Advocate member, reach out to your Personal Health Advocate or Wellness Coach.