Physical Education for Kids at Home
If you have found your kids stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, they might be getting a bit antsy as they transition to online learning and spending more time in the house. They may be missing their friends and even be getting tired of watching TV (did you think this was even possible?).
This is a great opportunity for you to start incorporating physical education (PE) games at home into your daily routines.
The Benefits of PE in Schools
While it’s no secret that physical activity is good for kids and their overall wellbeing, why is PE in schools so important? According to PhitWorld, kids benefit immensely from this structured group time because it:
• Helps reduce stress and anxiety and promotes a positive mood
• Helps kids look forward to exercise
• Teaches team building and self-discipline
• Teaches the importance of health and wellbeing
• Enforces the importance of respecting others
During this time at home, kids do not have the same opportunity to participate in physical activity with their peers.
However, we encourage you to try and find a way to break up the day to allow time for exercise and “PE at Home.” Not only will this get out pent-up energy and provide exercise, but it will give your child a much-needed break from their online schooling.
PE Games You Can Play at Home
Don’t forget to start with some basic stretches to get them (and you!) warmed up.
We recommend trying to dedicate at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week to these games and exercises.
All of these games require minimal equipment and can be done inside. If you have more than one school-aged child at home, you can create structured group time together. Whether it be just you and your child, or several of your children together, here are five ways to create "PE at Home:”
These are a great way to really get your kid(s) moving. If you have more than one child, this one can invoke some friendly competition. Circuit training works all the muscle groups in a series of exercises.
This circuit includes:
• 20 jumping jacks
• 10 pushups
• 10 sit-ups
• Hop from one foot to the other 10 times
• 10-star jumps (your child jumps and extends their arms and legs outward as far as possible
while in midair)
Have your child(ren) perform these exercises for two circuits, and time them while doing so. They are guaranteed to want to try and beat their first time at least once.
Hopping Relay Races
You can also easily hold relay races indoors, just be sure to create enough space. This might include moving some furniture around, or a long hallway works great. If you have other children in the house, this one is ideal. All you need for this is a small object, such as a tennis ball or an action figure.
1. Set up two lines that your child(ren) can hop back and forth between. With an object in hand, have your child(ren) hop from one line to the other on one foot.
2. Have your child(ren) pass off the item to the second person, who does the same thing.
3. You can do this as many times as you wish but be sure to keep the time for each race so
your child(ren) can try and beat it.
For a fun variation: instead of hopping, try skipping or crab walking instead
Compile a list of your kid(s)’ favorite songs. Have them dance around while you play them but freeze whenever you hit pause. With multiple kids, you can eliminate each one if they move when they are supposed to “freeze.”
All you need for this is a blown-up balloon and a piece of yarn or rope.
• Tie your string or rope between two places in your home that will allow it to stay taught, hanging slightly higher than your child(ren).
• Stand on either side of the string and attempt to hit the balloon back and forth over the string. Try not to let it hit the ground.
Yoga for Kids
While not as energy expending as some of the other options, yoga will get your kids’ heartbeat up and allow them to stretch their muscles out, a great option after being sedentary for many hours.
Have your kid(s) try some of these animal yoga poses. You could have them hold each pose for 10 seconds and then switch to another one, allowing them to keep moving but still striving to get the position correct.
Here’s a fun video you can share with your children to help them learn some new animal yoga poses:
While your child’s routine may be different than usual, you can manage to keep or create a new routine that they can depend on. Incorporating physical education into their days while they are stuck home will benefit both of you immensely. Allowing them this structured time will help them burn calories and keep their muscles moving. They may even sleep more soundly and be in a better mood throughout this uncertain time period.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of physical activity. Your child will thank you for it!
Massages are often sold as a purely indulgent treat that you get when you visit a spa or go on vacation, but there’s so much more to massage than just a feel good treat. Did you know that the symptoms of many health problems can be reduced and even eliminated with regular massage?
Here are a few conditions that massage can work really well on; a few you probably know and some that may surprise you.
It’s no surprise that a regular dose of massage therapy is good for your stress levels, it works by helping to lower your blood pressure, improve your quality of sleep, and by reducing your stress levels, it’s also thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease. In 2008 the journal Psycho-oncology published a study which came to the conclusion “…a significant reduction in cortisol (the main stress hormone) could be safely achieved through massage, with associated improvement in psychological well-being.”
Lower Back Pain
This is such a common problem, often caused by bad posture at work, so no wonder many employers are drafting in massage therapists to help. Poor posture and sitting for too long can cause a lot of lower back problems, as can simply getting older. Get your massage therapist on the case and you can hopefully wave goodbye to a sore back.
Fitness and sport are great for your health but they can sometimes lead to injuries and overworked muscles. A regular massage can help to heal any wear and tear on your muscles and tendons, and can also help you manage the pain from a chronic or acute sports injury. Having well looked-after muscles may also help prevent future injuries – one more reason to book those regular sessions.
Massage can be a blessed relief for people dealing with the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint problems. Research published in 2013 in the Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice journal said that people with rheumatoid arthritis reported some relief from pain and stiffness after four once-a-week moderate-pressure massages, topped up with self-massage at home in between treatments. Massage can also help with your range of motion and flexibility, which can relieve pain in your shoulders, knees, and hips.
There are a whole range of health problems that can be caused by bad circulation, so it figures that boosting your circulation will be a bonus for your whole body. Regular massage helps to get the blood moving, getting essential nutrients to where they are needed in your tissues and vital organs much faster. The squeezing and pulling actions involved in a good massage also help to flush lactic acid out of your muscles and improve the circulation of lymph – the fluid that carries metabolic waste away from your muscles and internal organs.
Nobody really knows what causes migraines, and there isn’t a cure, but if you’re a migraine sufferer you’ll be pleased to hear that studies have shown that massage can help reduce the frequency of attacks, and lessen the severity of the symptoms. Some migraines, especially those triggered by stress, are especially receptive to massage treatment.
Of course, we wouldn’t tell you that massage cures cancer; it can’t. But in some cases your massage therapist can notice abnormalities in your skin that you can’t see or just haven’t picked up on, and alert you to them. Regular massage can also be good for your skin as it gets the circulation going and the nourishing oils used in a treatment help to keep skin feeling soft.
A massage helps to stimulate lymph flow around your body, which boosts your immune system and can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Sometimes a therapist might be able to tell just from your lymph nodes if you are an allergy sufferer as they can feel tender or swollen.
Did any of those surprise you? Of course, you don’t need to make an excuse for wanting a massage, but if you are dealing with any of these health issues, it’s good to know that your regular massage habit is helping.Twitter
Crystal McCray LMT, CMT