With most Macomb County families staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, we at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers know that the transition to distance learning has been challenging. One idea to make it a little more fun is not to cut out what is most children’s favorite subject: gym! Even if you’re stuck indoors, there are ways to enjoy physical activities with children of all ages. Below are a few ideas.
For Younger Children
It’s particularly difficult for younger children to understand what exactly is going on and why their lives have changed so much in such a short time. Just like for adults, exercise and physical activity can help relieve stress and these are some activities your younger children may enjoy:
- Indoor Hockey—use a pool noodle or children’s hockey stick and a balloon. Set up two laundry baskets or boxes at either end of an open room to be the nets.
- Animal Races—challenge your children to cross the finish line hopping like kangaroos, sideways running like a crab or squat, and waddling like a duck.
- Classic Games—teach your children some old-time favorites like Duck, Duck Goose, and Simon Says.
- Follow the Leader—set the pace with jumping jacks, arm circles, and other exercise moves.
For Older Children
Help older children focus on maintaining good physical condition and overall health.
- What’s Your Sport--middle and high school students would normally be in the midst of their spring seasons at this point. If your child plays a sport, encourage them to research conditioning programs specifically designed for their sport and put them into practice several times a week.
- Home Gym—set up a fitness circuit in your home. Use different rooms for crunches, planks, lunges, etc. Put up a chin-up bar in a doorway if you have one. Improvise weights using a filled water bottle or milk jugs and canned goods.
- Explore Online Fitness Routines—the internet is full of a wide gamut of exercise programs. Help your older child focus on fitness goals they’d like to achieve and encourage them to find a program that suits their goals. Track success for added incentive.
As with all exercise, make sure your children are wearing appropriate athletic shoes. If a child experiences any foot or ankle discomfort, contact our St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 office and our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw, or Dr. Philip M. Watkins will confer with you using telemedicine services if possible. You can read more about our policies during the virus here.