By Colleen Bernardis, Youth Programs Coordinator
It is well-known that exercise is an important aspect of life and being sure to stay both physically and mentally fit helps people’s attitudes, health and well-being. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to make sure your children are being active and getting some type of exercise or activity in. Moving their bodies helps not only their physical health, but also their mental health, the ability to pay attention and succeed academically, boost the immune system and get much needed social interaction.
Exercising regularly is essential during normal circumstances, but here are a few reasons why it is even more important to get physical activity in during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Exercise improves mental health:
People who exercise more have lower levels of depression, stress and psychological distress, and higher levels of self-confidence. Exercising is a wonderful outlet for children to deal with stress and physical activity often results in higher levels of self-esteem.
Exercise helps with attention and academic performance:
After children have been physically active, there are studies that show they are able to pay better attention and focus more easily. It has been proven that children who are regularly active have a better academic performance.
Exercise boosts the immune system:
Exercise contributes to good health and therefore it has been shown that exercising regularly has immune-boosting benefits that can help your body fight off infections, including COVID-19.
Exercise is a way to meet new people:
When kids join different sports teams or activities that incorporate exercise, they have the chance to meet new people. With schools being remote or having smaller bubbles, it is important for kids to get socialization in and exercise is a great and healthy way to do so!
A few ways to be sure your child is getting physical activity daily is by setting limits on screen time, encouraging your children to take breaks from sitting throughout the day to get up and move, working out as a family and making sure it is fun! Below are some ideas of activities your child can participate in depending on their age level!
Infants: Have your little ones do tummy time, crawl around, sit up and pull themselves up into a standing position. They can also reach and grab for toys, helping to improve their motor skills.
Toddlers: Have your toddlers explore outside, play at a park or make some music with household objects and have them play with and dance to these instruments.
Preschoolers: Have your preschoolers kick, throw and catch a ball! You can also incorporate in-home or outside scavenger hunts – check out this link for an At Home Treasure Hunt for our Club Greenwood kiddos!
School-Aged Children: School-aged children often appreciate sport-specific skills such as shooting baskets, hitting a tennis ball, kicking a soccer ball or catching a football! You could also play tag, jump rope or hopscotch!
Teenagers: If your adolescents do not participate in a specific sport, they can always go on hikes, walks, dance, run or do workout classes online or at Club Greenwood!
It is important to “walk the walk” and make sure that you are being a good role model for your child and exercising if you are going to encourage them to do the same! Creating these habits for your children when they are young will help to be sure they grow up strong and healthy.
Colleen graduated in 2017 from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She began her career at Club Greenwood in 2013, as a Camp Counselor. In 2016, she was a Camp Lead and in April of 2019 she was promoted to Youth Programs Coordinator. Colleen’s passion is working with children and she loves spending time with them, and brightening their days. In her free time, Colleen enjoys hanging out with her friends and family or spending time outdoors.