By Jane Kilkenny
During the current uncertainty surrounding CoVID-19 it is essential that we focus on our health and wellbeing, Staying active will boost our immune system, keep us fit and also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Despite the chaos that surrounds us we still have control over our how we think, behave and react. As parents it is vital that we ensure that our stress levels remain under control so that we can support our children and maintain normality where possible.
Staying active will produce physical and mental benefits for both parents and kids. It will take some creative thinking and scheduling but you can find a combination of activities to suit your family. Here are some tips for everyone.
Parents/Adults: Our behavior will affect the behavior of our children, both in a positive and negative way. Make sure that you lead by example, keep your fitness up even if you have to completely change your normal routine, everything is adaptable if you allow it to be.
Now is a great time to add some family activities. If everyone is stuck at home and stress levels are rising go out for a walk, run or ride together. In outdoor environments restrictions are reduced so you can still enjoy many activities and maintain low levels of risk.
Teenagers: Under normal circumstances teenagers are often under stress related to school, relationships and social media. At present teenagers that are normally engaged in organized sport are struggling with their activities being cancelled, with no idea when they can return. This can lead to stress and anxiety and also isolation from their sports friends.
It’s important to provide them with options to maintain their skills and conditioning so that they are ready to go when competition resumes. Find outdoor options for them to practice. Most areas have outdoor basketball and netball courts, you just need to find them. Parks and ovals are also great for skills practice and fitness training.
Primary age: This is a crucial age to maintain their activity levels. Regardless of the circumstances we need to keep these kids active and engaged in physical activity. Outdoor games such as soccer, cricket, football and basketball can all be played in the backyard. Look through the cupboards and find some options that you forgot you had, like frisbee, badminton, totem tennis and make it a family activity.
Pre-schoolers: Make sure they are getting plenty of opportunities to play outdoors. Focus on the fundamental motor skills of run, jump, hop, skip, catch and throw. Create games, play hide and seek, hopscotch, throw and catch a ball which will all keep them active and entertained.
Family fun: Keeping everyone calm will be important, particularly if you are in a phase of isolation. Make sure everyone has a chance to be active and have a laugh. Keeping a sense of humour and a sense of fun will help get us through this difficult and challenging time.
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