College of DuPage Nursing Student Silvia Delgado shared with Healthy Lombard that Virtual learning can be very stressful, but exercise is one of the most important activities to fight stress during these challenging times. Although it may seem a bit harder to stay active during a global pandemic and a massive shut down, it is extremely important for health. Children especially, require physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2020) children between 3 and 5 years of age need physical activity throughout the day for growth and development. Children and adolescents age 6 through 17 years should get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
There are many ways and activities to motivate your child to stay active. Virtual PE (physical education), a website featuring links for physical activity, is a great resource to help the family stay active while at home. This website includes, Just Dance, a YouTube channel that has dance challenges as part of a music video that provides an easy way for adults and children to get moving and dancing. Another link featured on this website is Cosmic Kids Yoga, which provides videos with yoga moves for younger children. A different option that may be more appropriate for older children is the Nike Training Club app, which provides free workout content. Selecting the right activity for your child is important as different ages are appropriate for different interests and abilities. It is much easier to motivate your child to exercise when they perceive it as a fun activity.
According to the Mayo Clinic (2020), exercise is beneficial in relieving stress in part, because activity boosts the level of endorphins in the body resulting in feeling good. Health benefits of physical activity include, improving muscle strength and function, bone strength, maintaining a healthy weight, decreasing the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and relieving stress, to name a few. But most importantly, physical activity is essential for adequate growth and development in children.
It is essential for the entire family to engage in physical activity as part of a daily routine. Staying at home may lead to a more sedentary lifestyle for children as well as parents. As parents, however, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle in children by including physical activity is a great way to keep them moving!
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). How much physical activity do children need?. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm
Bizzarri, A. (2020). Our Favorite Virtual P.E. Resources to Keep Students Moving at Home Let’s get physical. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/active-kids.html
Mayo Clinic. (2020, August 18) Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and stress/art-20044469