Fitness for quarantined kids

By Monica Guthrie

You, and your kids, need to move

So here’s the deal. Our kids are in the house with us, maybe for eternity. Who knows. I am inspired by the color-coded schedules and the distance learning y’all have, but for me, if I’m real, I can’t be in this house with my kids all day for weeks and weeks. We gotta get outside. Which is good because my youngest wants to be Sonic the Hedgehog (thanks Sega) so he needs to burn off some energy, and my oldest would lay on the couch all day if he had his way – so he need to get his butt up and moving.

 Aye! What’s a momma to do?

Well first, I’m gonna try kicking them outside:

  • Play outside– You know what’s exhausting? Chasing kids around. I’ve got one round of tag in me before I have to sit down. So maybe this is a time for those of us who don’t CrossFit, to get our tails into action. Play some football, kick a ball around, play a game of basketball (or maybe just HORSE, baby steps y'all).
  • Go for a walk/ride your bike– The weather, as I’m writing this, is bad. BUT when it does get better, we can go for a walk. Or maybe the kids can ride those bikes they asked for at Christmas but then haven’t ridden (not bitter… nope).
  • Start training for a 5K– Ha. Next.
  • Grab some sidewalk chalk and make an obstacle course– You remember when you were kids and you would play hopscotch? Do that – but then, draw a line with the chalk and pretend it’s a balancing beam. Then draw some circles and jump (or whatever it is my knees will let me do) from circle to circle. If you draw it down the sidewalk, maybe some of the other kids who need to get out and move, will do just that: get out and move.
  • Yard races– Remember three-legged races, wheelbarrows, bunny hops – break up into teams and see who can finish a set the fastest … you know, I take it back. I’ll go back to that 5K. Wheelbarrow. Ha!
  • Wash the car/do yard work– My youngest loves to wash cars. I don’t stop him. You can include leaf raking, lawn mowing, painting, gardening – whatever you’ve got around the house. Think about it, in two weeks, your house will be on point!
  • Scavenger hunt –I’m kinda against cellphones but I’ll let it slide this time. Make a scavenger hunt, they have to take photos of what they find, BUT, they have to be in the photo and do a specific pose (jump in the air, plank, push up video). How many can they get in 30 minutes?

 

Okay, but what about when you can’t go outside? Inside options:

  • Dance party/freeze dance– Get your groove back! Shake your groove thang! Teach your kids some of “your” favorite songs from when you were their age – now it’s a dance party AND a history lesson. Bam.
  • Yoga – Okay, so I might not be running a 5k tomorrow, but I love me some yoga. My smallest offspring thinks it’s funny to watch me struggle to plank while he’s pretending he’s a mountain goat on my back. Throw him for a loop with downward dog and watch him spiral off – Namaste.
  • Laser obstacle course – So you get some yarn, you connect it all over a room (like laser beams – you’re getting the idea). You point to a corner and say “hey – get to that spot and you had better not touch ANY OF THOSE STRINGS!”
  • Pillow battles– Step 1. Pick a room that doesn’t have ANYTHING you like in it (we pick the baby’s room). Step 2. Gather a bunch of soft things: pillows, stuffed animals, foam balls Step 3. Launch them at each other. Make sure you set rules before you start or someone is going to get a stuffed bear the eyeball and cry.
  • Temper tantrum – Get in the middle of the room and throw a tantrum. Stomp. Jump. Scream. Yell. Get it all out. You know… during a time of quarantining, it might also be therapeutic for everyone so once you’re feeling better, ask them to join you too.
  • YouTube video– Seriously. YouTube. They want to learn how to breakdance? YouTube it. How about take a ballet lesson? YouTube. Beef up your arms? Work on your abs? Stand on your head? YouTube it.
  • Fitness plan/stations– For all you CrossFitters, this is right up your lane. Have stations where the kids can knock out some push ups, another one where they do situps and then keep going. You can make it easier or harder depending on your kid.

Hope that helps. And, in case yall need it, I made you a chart you can use – or print off and use as toilet paper. Either way.

Get moving.

Notes:

Department of Health and Human Services - https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/ways-to-be-active/index.html

Couch to 5K - http://www.c25k.com/

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Monica K. Guthrie is an Army brat, an Army veteran (Rock of the Marne!) and now an Army spouse with two boys. She is currently the media relations officer for the public affairs office at Fort Sill, Okla., and writes a weekly column called the Okie Bucket List. She also has a photography and graphic design business, Pro Deo Creations, that she maintains between potty training and kissing scraped knees. 
 

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