It typically doesn’t take a lot of convincing for kids to get active – it’s in their nature. And getting at least one hour of exercise is vital for the development of children aged five and over. It can help them grow strong bones, flexible muscles, maintain a healthy weight, build their confidence, and discover the world around them.
But sometimes, when it’s cold and wet outside, going for a walk in the park suddenly seems like a chore. So on top of those outdoorsy activities, we’ve come up with ten ways you could, as a family, get active and make exercise a group activity, rain or shine.
1. Walk or cycle to and from school?
Travelling to school together will not only give you time to catch up every morning and afternoon, but it’s one of the easiest ways to put exercise into your daily routine. It can also save you money, get you fit, and help the environment! Because cycling is a low-impact type of exercise, it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities – just make sure you stay safe on the road and you’re good to go.
2. Build an outdoor play area together?
This one’s more of a strategic activity than it is laborious, especially if you’re building something like a tree house from scratch! Yet, it’s a great long-term project to work on with your kids, and by the time summer comes around, it will be well worth all the hard work. Plus, you can access dozens of free tree house or play area plans online, including what materials to buy – go see for yourself!
3. Build an indoor blanket fort?
Not feeling up for the outdoorsy work? No problem – there are temporary play areas you can make indoors too, like a simple bedroom fort requiring nothing but furniture, blankets, and pillows. Maybe you’re kids already do this regularly, but we’ll admit that it’s fun for grown-ups too. You could even get some hide-and-seek games out of it or treat yourselves to a movie night after the hard work.
4. Go ice skating during winter and rollerblading during summer?
Ice skating is full of health benefits from improving your coordination to building strong leg muscles. It definitely requires at least one other person if you have a hard time balancing on ice skates. But here in the UK, winter is slowly retreating, meaning we’re moving from ice skates to rollerblades. Rollerblading is great for your endurance and can improve your coordination once you get hang of it.
5. Join a leisure centre?
Leisure centres not only provide you sports equipment, but some people simply need a bit of routine to find the motivation to exercise, so a weekly trip to a leisure centre is the perfect solution. Besides, they offer great deals for families and a range of sports or facilities to choose from: swimming, tennis, squash, trampolines and more. Surely there will be activities at sports clubs that are fun for all ages! It’s also a great way to make new friends, and build your children’s self-esteem.
6. Have a hula hoop contest?
Hula hoops are very cheap, which is one great advantage of this activity–just make sure you buy a range of different sizes when you hold your contest. It can be indoors or outdoors, as long as everybody’s careful not to throw the hula hoops too far! The most common take on this contest is who can hula-hoop around the waist the longest, but there are a range of other versions, like having the hoop around your arms and legs. Make sure you have a grand prize waiting for the winner!
7. Try indoor climbing?
Indoor climbing is great for various reasons, especially because it can be a mental challenge as well as a physical one. It also forces you to work in pairs, helping the one climbing find the best way up. That being said, climbing requires a lot of trust between the belayer and the climber, especially when you’ve reached the top and you’re ready to be lowered down – it can be quite intimidating for anyone!
8. Learn how to dance?
Everybody’s got a natural rhythm, so why not put that rhythm to test? Dancing is great for your physical health because aerobic, repetitive exercises can actually protect your brain from aging. Suitable for all ages, dancing also encourages the release of endorphins, which can boost your mood immensely. There are so many different styles you could choose from, zumba to ballet, so pick your song and dance your hearts out!
9. Teach them a new sport?
There are dozens of new sports you could try out as a family, from skiing in the winter to ultimate frisbee in the warmer months. You can work on your team building skills, learn good sportsmanship, and teach the lesson that winning isn’t as important as trying. Sports are a great way of experimenting with new hobbies, which are great outlets for stress.
10. Take a walk in a national park or forest?
At the end of the day, exercise and physical activity feels best when you’re out in nature. It’s actually been psychological proven that scents of the forest may reduce stress, because smells are closely tied to the emotional center of our brains. Plus, if your kids are running ahead of the gang, it can teach them how to be independent or even lead the way, making the decisions about your family’s journey through the forest.
Be sure to contact a medical professional for advice on your children’s health and wellbeing. With the Qured app, you can see a doctor at a time and location of your choice within 2 hours.
Download the app today by clicking here.