Keeping Kids Physically Fit This Fall
WRITTEN BY Jessica Dangerabout 2 months ago
So you’re a homeschooling parent now. Welcome!
This fall, thousands of families will have kids attending school virtually, thanks to COVID-19 still wreaking havoc throughout the world. For many parents and caretakers, this puts the brunt of courses like P.E. on us. And with gyms, parks, and most kids sports closed or heavily altered, this can be difficult to manage. Never fear. There are still ways you can get your kids up, off the computer, and maybe even break a sweat.
Have them walk your animal...like a lot. We’ve all seen the jokes about dogs living the dream life right now. With more people home, the doggos get more leash time. Hand that chore on over to your kid. Set guidelines for them: Junior will walk Fido for 20 minutes at 10:30, 1:00, and 3:00. Boom. An hour of fitness and fresh air. Also, make sure you’re upping your collagen for both Junior and Fido if those little legs aren’t used to all that walking.
Don’t have a dog? Walk someone else’s. Find a neighbor and offer your services to them. Or, better yet, volunteer at your local animal shelter as a dog walker.
Let them play...video games. Lots of video games have physical components to them. Just Dance, Wii Sports, Wii Fit? Yessir. Every time my 14-year-old plays Just Dance he ends it dripping in sweat. Dripping. It's simultaneously disgusting and amazing. (I help him refuel from all that sweat with a protein packed smoothie outside. Let the boy air out a little bit.)
Find or form a fitness co-op.Co-ops are much like book clubs. You form a group of kids, schedule a date and time, and then rotate who leads each session. Once a week Johnny’s mom leads all the kids in a hike. The next week Alex’s dad has everyone run the track for two miles. Another week, maybe the kids go to Sara’s grandma’s house to swim. The idea is that you have a safe, close group of participants that help you share the load. It’s community functioning at its finest.
Personal training.There are lots of fitness instructors, high school and college coaches, and actual P.E. teachers out there looking for work right now. That’s the current situation, like it or not. If you’re in a position to put them to some good use, do so. They can train your kids outside, following all the safety protocols you’d like, and keep them engaged and moving while keeping food on that coach’s table, too.
Lastly, model it.Even if you’re tired. Even if it’s too early in the morning and you haven’t had enough coffee yet for this nonsense. Even if you’ve worked all damn day. Even if your knees hurt and you have a headache and the last thing you want to do is go for a run or get on a bike or do 20 minutes of yoga, do it.