Keeping Kids Active During Pandemic
Exercise and movement are vital to a child’s development, so it's necessary that parents pay attention to the time their children spend on physical activities.
With quarantine measures still in place due to the threat of COVID-19, parents had no choice but to continue keeping their children within the confines and safety of their homes. Admittedly, this is the most effective way to stop spreading the virus, however it limits the children’s opportunities for play and movement.
As most activities are now shifting to the virtual world, kids may already have been given access to various gadgets to keep them occupied. And as more and more parents and guardians are now considering their options for online learning, most activities would now be done with the use of desktop computers and laptops. With these factors, children nowadays may have less physical activity options to engage in.
Physical movement gives numerous benefits, especially to a growing child, and should also be given priority during this time of pandemic.
Physical Wellness Benefits
Exercise brings about improved cardiorespiratory fitness, releases happy hormones and helps develop stronger bones and muscles, even in children. In fact, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Health and Science showed a clear link between regular physical activity and the body’s defense system. As such, spending time in physical activities will help kids not just to become active and fit, but will also boost their immune system, which is crucial at this time.
Improved Sleep and Concentration
Physical activities allow for better sleeping patterns and improved quality of sleep. It has also been observed that inactive children take longer time to fall asleep than those who are physically active. This is important because when children can get the right amount and quality of sleep, their energy levels will be replenished and then can function well in their daily lives.
Mental Health Benefits
Doing physical activities allows kids to effectively deal with stressors, as they learn to process their feelings of joy and excitement and manage their anxiety. Through playtime, they develop their problem-solving skills, creativity, and self-control.
Activities You Can Try with Your Kids
To incorporate active play in your children’s activities, the key is to keep things safe and within the bounds of what they can do with respect to their age. Without having to leave the house and if there is space to do so, you can start with walking around, or throwing and catching a ball.
For younger children, you can try building makeshift forts with them or setting up a treasure hunt around the home. For older ones, you can experiment with light workouts or explore child-oriented fitness or dance classes that are available online so your kids can still be productive while in quarantine.
Ultimately, playtime should be about fun. When kids are enjoying what they are doing, they will be able to engage more and reap the benefits of physical activities as they do so. Being in a quarantine situation may bring some limitations, but with a little creativity, you can still find ways to keep the kids and the whole family healthy.