Back to school can mean lots of sitting for children after having weeks of running, playing and being outdoors. It’s hard to get children back onto their school schedule of early wake ups, catching the bus on time and a little less activity throughout the day. I know I am always left wondering how to fit in physical activity.
There are a few ways you can ensure your child is getting the recommended daily physical activity minutes in (That’s 60 minutes for school children in Canada) by breaking activity into segments throughout the day. After all, we can’t ensure they are going to be active all day in their classrooms while sitting at their desks.
How To Fit In Physical Activity Outside Of The School & Work Day
Early morning stretching.
Before you even get out of bed you can stretch your arms and legs before placing them down on the ground. If you practice yoga, you could do 1-3 different yoga poses to help get the blood flowing again and start your day off with a good stretch.
Walking School Bus.
While walking to school, you can pick up children (and other parents) along the way. Keeping in mind the safety of a large group walking on the shoulder of the road or on a sidewalk you can safely walk a group of children to school. It’s a creative way to walk to school and gets you moving. This might be a challenge with getting to work in the morning but might be something to try even once a week or month.
Students usually have a recess break and/or lunch break throughout the day. Hopefully, they will be able to get outside and move around a little. The same goes for you at your workplace. Instead of getting coffee and muffins, change it up and go for a 10-minute walk before you get your coffee and muffins. 10 minutes of exercise a few times a day (3-4 times) can add up to extra time moving and less time sitting.
After School Play.
Whether your child comes home or goes to a day care facility/home, being active after school is a prime time. It’s still light out and safe and provides children with the opportunity to ‘get more active’.
During evenings throughout the school year, there can be opportunities in your community to get kids active. This could be through a club, Girl Guides/Boy Scouts, sports teams, recreational programs or take the opportunity to play in your own backyard or playground together.
Do you find it hard to get your kids active once they go back to school?