During the first few weeks of lockdown, without realising it, I’d really been living a sedentary life. No walking to school, sat helping the girls with their school work and then whilst they went out to play, I used it as an opportunity to work, so sat down again! After a few weeks though, my back and hips started to hurt again. A call to my osteopath said what I’d tried to ignore – my hip flexors were tight from sitting and lack of exercise. So I talked to the girls and we came up with a list of 10 minute family fitness activities to do whilst in lockdown.
Why is fitness so important?
Research shows that being sedentary is bad for your physical and mental health, so staying active during this difficult time is extra important, especially for those now working from home.
Physical activity helps to keep your immune system working effectively as it flushes bacteria from the lungs and airways, increases white blood cell circulation and raises body temperature, all of which help the body fight infection. It also helps your mental health by lowering stress hormones such as cortisol and promotes the release of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins.
But even if you’re stuck at home, there are ways you can stay active and continue your workout routine – and some of these require very little or no equipment. If you are lucky enough to own an exercise bike or treadmill, then you will already be accustomed to this in-house way of keeping fit. But if these are not possible then any activity that raises the heart rate is good for cardiovascular health.
Here are some 10 minute family fitness activities to raise the heartbeat, break up the work and spend some family time together:
- Put on your favourite music and start dancing
- One person is in control of the music
- Whenever they pause it, freeze and make a pose.
- When one song ends, play someone else’s favourite!
Keep dancing and posing for 10 minutes.
- Set up a course using any objects you can find (toys, shoes, boxes etc). leave some gaps in between.
- Run from the start to finish as fast as you can, weaving in and out of the objects.
- If you touch the objects, go back and set the up.
See how many laps you can do in 10 minutes.
Object Hide and Seek
- Grab 5 toys or objects and a towel each.
- Give your toys to someone else. Lay your towels next to each other.
- You take it in turns to hide the toys and objects.
- On the count of 5, all go and find your things and bring them back to your towel. The first one to find their 5 toys wins!
Keep playing for 10 minutes.
- Run on the spot, then do a press up.
- Next, jump up and do your best lion roar.
- Repeat and add in other animal noises for fun.
- Everyone needs to follow your moves
Keep playing for 10 minutes.
- Make a start and finish line.
- Get into pairs and make a wheelbarrow
- See how quickly you can get to the finish line.
- Swap places and race again.
Keep playing for 10 minutes and try and beat each other’s times.
- Choose one person to be ‘IT’.
- Everyone else runs away and ‘it’ tries to tag them. When they are tagged they must freeze.
- If you are tagged, you need to stand in once place with your legs open. An untagged player must crawl through your legs to unfreeze you!
- Once everyone is frozen, then someone else becomes ‘it’.
Play for 10 minutes, try using different ways to unfreeze.
What’s the time Superhero?
- Choose one person to be ‘on’ and let them pick their favourite superhero’s character’s name. Stand facing a wall and everyone else lines up some distance away.
- All shout “what’s the time (character’s name)?”
- If they shout “2 o’clock!”, you must take two steps towards them and so on.
- When they shout “It’s Superhero time!”, they turn and chase you! The first person they catch becomes ‘on’ and chooses their own character.
Play for 10 minutes.
Why not colour in your own superhero cape first?
- The youngest player starts facing a wall. everyone else lines up 10 big steps away.
- When the person facing the wall isn’t looking, everybody race towards them. They can turn at any time and if they see you move – you are out.
- The first to touch the person by the wall without being seen is next on.
Count the number of times you manage to become on – the highest score after 10 minutes wins!
- Mark out a start and finish line. Split into teams if there are a few of you.
- Stand at the start line with your arms spread like wings.
- Do the first lap running forwards, the second backwards and the third sidestepping.
- Add in different ways of doing the laps!
Keep going for 10 minutes – can you beat your record?
- Run up one step and then back down.
- Then go up two steps and back down.
- Keep going until you have done all steps.
Take it in turn for 10 minutes and see if you can beat your own best time!
Hope you have fun trying out these family fitness activities during lockdown!
Jemma & Gill xxx
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