The importance of being physically active cannot be overemphasized on the health of a child and parents alike.
We have all heard it many times before that regular exercise is good for you, and it can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, reduces your risk of cancer, improves your mental health, increases your chances of living longer and improve your sleep and even improve your sexual health.
The World Health Organization recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily for children and people aged 5-17 years. For Adults aged 18 and above should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
Parents have to be creative in improvising the things you have at home to exercise such as making use of your stairs, house chores, e.t.c.
Here are ways you can exercise at home without having to go to the gym or even make use of any equipment.
1. Skipping: This is a simple exercise you can do in the confinement of your home or compound. You only need a skipping rope for this exercise. Parents are also encouraged to carry their children along in the skipping exercise. You can make it a little bit competitive to make it more. Take turn skipping, a parent can skip while the child counts and vice versa. The person that skips the highest wins.
2. Jumping Rope: Jumping rope is also another form of exercise that can be performed indoors. This exercise also makes use of a jump rope. You can have your children hold the rope on each end while you jump over to the left and right side of the rope while your children count and vice versa.
Do you remember jumping a swirling rope while growing up? Jumping ropes in which the ropes are repeatedly swirled under your feet to over your head and you are expected to keeping jumping and not stepping on the rope.
If you want a good cardio workout in a matter of minutes, try a jump rope.
3. Stair Stepping: Stair stepping is a great exercise to do in your home. Now its time to make use of those stairs in your home, even if you don’t have a set of stairs available, you can improvise. You can substitute your sturdy chair, such as the little stool called “Apoti in Yoruba” as stairs. Make sure anything you are using is well balanced and not shaking.
Now continuously step up and down your stairs. You may decide to do it for 10 minutes or longer, just make sure you don’t over exhaust yourself. Start from slow to fast.
You may not work up a sweat as you would with a jump rope, but you will be keeping your body active and healthy.
4. The Plank: If you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to build up your core muscles, this is the exercise for you. Get into a push-up position, but instead of bending your arms and moving down towards the floor, hold the position with your arms extended. Start off holding the position for 30 seconds, and add an additional 10 seconds every day. See how long you can go for – it’s definitely not easy! This is one of the most challenging exercises, but it’s also one of the best for your core.
5. Dancing: Dancing is an excellent way to burn calories, and get your heart rate going while having fun. If you are in the privacy of your own home, there is no need to look like a pro or impress anyone. Put on music, dance along to the rhythm of the songs with your family. You can decide to do this for as long as you want but know when to stop, especially when your kids are exhausted, don’t push them for more. Shake! Shake! Shake your body.
This physical activity is obviously for all age groups; go ahead and make it a competition for your kids! Or start and stop the music, having the kids freeze, to make it a laugh-fest!
You can also institute the “Musical Chair game” here as well.
6. House Chores/Cleaning: Remember we said, you need to be creative, all those numerous house chores in the house can be turned to an exercise routine with your children.
Most house chores can be very physical, especially mopping. Set up a house cleaning schedule and clean your house instead. You might as well kill two birds with one stone!
7. Water Bottle Weights: If you are looking to do some arm, shoulder, and back strength training, you can make your own weights by filling up water bottles. You can tailor the exercise to your level by filling the bottles to the exact weight that you need. For a greater challenge, increase the water amount just a little bit each time you workout.
8. High Knees:
I really love running, so I tried to run in place in my home one day when the weather was bad. While it was great that I was able to keep my body active, running in place was very awkward. My heart rate did not get very high either.
Instead of running in place, I’ve found that high knees can really get your heart pumping, especially if you go double time. To do this exercise, march in place or down a hall, and bring your knees as high as they can go. Kids love matching right! Engage them in this exercise as well.
9. Jumping Jacks: This is another elementary school throwback, but it offers a great cardio workout. This is an exercise that involves jumping up with your arms and leg stretched wide apart. You can take a break from watching TV or even working to do a round of jumping jacks.
10. Walking: Walking around your house is also a very good exercise, most especially for people with one health condition of the other or the aged. You can gradually increase the pace of your movement by taking to and fro. Time yourself and see how many rounds of walking to and fro you can do.
11. Keep the Balloon Up: Kids love playing with balloons and colourful kid’s ball. What a better time to institute it as an exercise routine than now. Get a lightweight kid’s ball or balloons, blow them up and tell the kids to keep the balloons from touching the floor. What fun for the kids!
Parents can make use of a ball for this exercise; you can as well turn it to a handball. The aim here is to be physically active, burn some calories.
12. Bowling: Have you heard about bowling? Well, you can do it at home too making use of readily available objects in your house. To engage your kids in bowling, Get some items that you can stand up like empty water bottles or plastic cups, grab a big enough ball, and start rolling to knock over the plastic cups or bottles.
13. Follow the Leader: This is a great way to get your child to participate in the exercise. A leader is selected to lead the whole family in any exercise of his choice, the exercise may be stretching, dancing, or anything at all. The remaining members of the family are to do exactly what the leader does. The leader id to be rotated about the member of the family. Parents should ensure all their kids are carried along.
14. YouTube Workouts
There are a lot of exercise routines on YouTube. You can search “exercises for children,” or you can search by the specific type of exercise that you would like. This allows you to mix up what you are doing to avoid boredom and lose weight fast. YouTube is also great if you want to do a traditional workout with push-ups, squats, lunges, and crunches, but are ensure you properly do the exercises well as demonstrated.
15. Other exercises that can be carried out indoors are:
- Tug of War
- Running in place
All exercises listed above are kid’s friendly but parents are encouraged to be on the watch to make sure kids carry out the exercises as demonstrated first by the parents. Parents should also stop kids once they are tired.
Parents should be creative, try everything possible to reduce a sedentary lifestyle in their home and encourage physical activity. Kids learn mostly by watching their parents do things, so ensure you are an active model to them. Portray what you want to see them do.
What other indoor exercise do you know? Feel free to comment it below