Staying physically healthy & active during COVID-19

By Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Boys & Girls Club of America

With many gyms, parks and recreation centers closed, we know it may be difficult to keep kids physically active while the nation works to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Regular physical activity is important for both our physical and mental well-being. The World Health Organization recommends children and youth aged 5–17 engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.

The following are some tips on how to keep kids active and reduce sedentary behavior while at home, with no special equipment and with limited space.

‘Sports Live On’
Although many sports leagues have been cancelled, kids can take a cue from our friends over at Buffalo Wild Wings and show off their athletic skills while practicing social distancing. Join the #SportsLiveOn challenge and have kids practice their favorite sport in a clever and unique way. Perfect the jump shot with trash can basketball, improve dribbling skills with toilet paper, or set up putt-putt golf in the backyard! Take a look at this video for some cool ideas and motivation to keep sports alive, while staying at home.

Planet Fitness Home Work-Ins
Just because your gym is closed, doesn’t mean you can’t still attend a workout class!  Our friends over at Planet Fitness are offering free, live-streamed workout videos every day.  The workouts change daily, and so do the instructors. Tune in daily, and you might even be lucky enough to have a class led by a celebrity! Tune in on Facebook.

100 Challenge
A simple one to get started – 100 reps of this one exercise.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and up in the air, your knees and hips forming 90-degree angles.
  2. Reach your arms straight up to the sky
  3. As you reach your arms back down to the floor, lift your head and roll up with your shoulder blades just off the floor.
  4. Move your arms up and down as if you’re slapping the floor – and start counting!

For more 100 abs check out the 100 Ab Challenge from Blogilates! Every day for 30 days you do 100 reps of a different ab exercise every day for 30 days. You can also break each exercise into smaller sets throughout the day!

How High Can You Go
This is a great outside option, and simple enough for the youngest of kids too! (But maybe pass on this one if you have downstairs neighbors)

  1. 5 high jumps (jump as high as you can!)
  2. 5 broad jumps (jump as far as you can!)

Repeat for 10 rounds, or 10 minutes (whichever comes first). For more body weight workouts and how-to videos, click here.

The Fast and the Furious
A four minute (yes, FOUR minute) high-intensity interval workout. It alternates 20 second bursts of working out as hard as you can with a quick 10 second rest to build cardiovascular fitness AND muscle.

Here’s one workout to get you started (and an online timer designed specifically for it):

  1. Do as many jumping jacks as you can for 20 seconds
  2. Rest for 10 seconds
  3. Complete 8 rounds

For a longer workout, try this video. And here’s another good bodyweight High Intensity workout.

Circuit Run
Social distancing doesn’t mean distancing yourself from outside! If you are able to be outside without being too close to others, try this run/walk workout that totals up to 20 minutes:

  1. Walk for 5 minutes to warm up
  2. Then do 6 rounds of:
    1. Run 1 minute
    2. Walk 1 ½ minutes

For more, try the Couch 2 5K program! The program alternates walking with short bits of running to build up to running a full 5k in 9 weeks. The UK’s National Health System has the program written out, an app, training tips, and podcasts for each workout!

Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you and your family remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time.


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