Monday May 4th 2020

Family life has changed dramatically as a result of the lockdown restrictions and it’s a big test for everyone involved trying to get kids to burn up all that pent-up energy.

However, it’s worth sticking at it, according to Active Surrey, which says that with real focus, it can really help them perform better in that home-schooling challenge.

While some days will be better than others, it said the important thing is to ensure the day is broken up with short periods of activity, with 20 or 30-minute bursts for younger children, which can bring a range of great benefits including:

 

Better focus

School breaks between lessons aren’t just there to allow the teachers to grab a cuppa. Running around a playground or just walking from one room to another breaks up long periods of sitting and burn off some energy, reducing the urge to be unsettled or ‘fidget’ later.

 

Better mood, better outcomes

Research for the BBC’s ‘Super Movers’ initiative last year found that 77% of the 17 schools in a study noted an improvement in brain function and learning after exercise. The mood of children was also positively affected – particularly boys, which further helped learning.

 

Better mental wellbeing

Dance isn’t just for girls. Moving more releases endorphins, the body’s own feel good hormones. Any type of vigorous movement can stimulate their release, but some studies suggest that dancing encourage greater levels, and concentrating on dance steps is also a good way to get your mind onto other things.

 

Don’t sit for too long

Whatever our age, sitting too long slows our metabolism and leads to a build-up of fat which contributes to increased risks of obesity and with it, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

 

Try traditional games

Make sure you make the most of the daily exercise allowance and challenge your kids to ‘on the spot’ tests if you’re out for a walk (For example, who can get the next lamppost the quickest or how quickly can you do 30 step-ups on your front door).

You can also try some traditional games like hopscotch if you have a garden. And if the weather keeps you inside, a frying pan, a couple of saucepans for ‘baskets’ and some rolled up socks can be all you need to invent your own new games…

The organisation which works to provide innovative, inspiring and impactful ways to get more people, more active more often, has included a range of ideas, resources tips, activities and helpful links to help get kids moving on its website www.activesurrey.com.

From Joe Wicks’ workout moves to BBC’s Super Movers and Disney’s NHS Shake-Ups and the Nike Move Crew, there’s no end of choice if you want to run, dance, hop and leap until the lights go out.

Everyone might get a better night’s rest too!

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