During these difficult times a lot of us are facing a change in our daily routines. Whether this is a change in work hours or children learning from home, it is still extremely important to get regular exercise and maintain a healthy balanced diet.
How much exercise should my family get?
- School and nursery aged children will be used to getting a lot of their daily exercise during playtime, lunchtimes and PE lessons.
- Pre-school children (aged 3-4) require around 3 hours a day of being active – two hours of this being general active play and at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise.
- Children aged between 5 and 18 should aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day across the week. This should be a mixture of different types and intensities of exercise
- Adults aged between 19 and 64 should aim to be physically active every day. This includes at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.
Why is exercise important during a lockdown?
- Exercise is very important during the lockdown as many of us will be less active than we usually are in our normal routines.
- As well as keeping you fit and healthy, exercise helps to build confidence, improves sleep and makes you feel good, preventing low mood and depression.
- For children, exercise is also very important for improving their co-ordination, strengthens their muscles and bones and helps them to improve their concentration and learning.
What sorts of exercise should my family do?
- Exercise can be divided into three categories: light, moderate and vigorous
- Light exercises are where you are moving rather than just sitting or lying down. These include:
- Cleaning or dusting the house
- Making the bed
- Getting up to make a cup of tea
- Walking at a slow pace
- Moderate exercises should raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. These exercises include:
- Brisk walking
- Riding a bike
- Pushing a lawnmower
- Vigorous exercises make you breathe hard and fast. You will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. These exercises include:
- Jogging or running
- Riding a bike fast on hills
- Skipping rope
- Walking up multiple stairs
- Aerobics classes
Tips for exercising in lockdown
- With learning now taking place at home, try to encourage a routine with set times for learning, access to devices and exercise while discouraging long periods of inactivity
- Exercise as a family by doing outdoor exercises or taking advantage of indoor and online activity sessions.
- You can set daily targets for different activities as part of a daily routine. You could use this as a competition between your family and give rewards to whoever did the most exercise at the end of the week
- As a family, try some different physical activities and see if you can all learn some new skills
Enjoy Smoothie after Exercise
Smoothies contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. A 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie can count as a maximum of 1 portion of your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
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You can find some ideas for indoor and outdoor exercises below:
- NHS Change 4 Life – exercise ideas for children
- Join the Movement – Sports England
- The Body Coach – PE with Joe
- Race at your pace – Fitness and exercise challenges