E is for Exercise #AtoZChallenge

Posted April 6, 2020 in A-Z Challenge / 4 Comments

The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Every day throughout April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting a range of ideas and tips for keeping your family entertained at home. It will include arts and crafts, games, learning ideas and imaginative activities for all ages. I thought it would be particularly useful while we’re all self-isolating or socially distancing, though it can be used for any time of year.

Letter “E” is for Exercise. We all know how important exercise is for keeping our body and mind healthy. Now that gyms and fitness groups are closed for the lockdown, we’re going to have to get more creative about keeping fit from home. I’ve compiled a list of ideas and some free online classes aimed at keeping us all active.

Indoor Exercise Ideas

  • Get dancing! See yesterday’s post, D is for Dance for loads of ideas.
  • Make your own short routine of simple exercises such as squats, jumping jacks, press ups, burpees, planks, mountain climbers and so on. You can find the instructions for various moves on Youtube, just see what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine.
  • Try the toilet roll keepie-uppies challenge.
  • Take on the Stair Climb Challenge. There are 15 steps in the average flight of stairs, so see if you can climb the equivalent height of various mountains and tall buildings. You could make a family scoreboard for some healthy competition.
  • Make the most of any fitness media you have such as Wii Fit games and exercise DVDs.
  • Play some active party games such as musical chairs and musical statues.
  • Have a go at yoga, which is great for relaxation. There are lots of beginner videos on Youtube and I’ll be sharing lots more links and resources about yoga on my “Y” post on April 29th.
  • You can rig up an exercise bike for your kids if they have a bike with stabilisers (training wheels), by wedging the stabilisers into a pair of shoes! (Obviously keep an eye on them and make sure it’s safe).
  • Play Twister! If you don’t have one, make your own with an old sheet and some paint.
  • Play indoor-friendly tennis with rackets made from paper plates and a balloon for a ball.
  • Try some simple gymnastics moves (with a soft mat and adult supervision) such as headstands, handstands and forward rolls.
  • Play animal races (hop like a bunny, slither like a snake, waddle like a duck, and so on.
  • Try a timed indoor scavenger hunt by writing clues that lead to hidden “treasure” or challenging your family to quickly find a household item (this can even be played over video call).
  • Recreate those school parachute games with a bed sheet and a little imagination.
  • Having a good spring clean can be a great workout too. Assign each family member to a room and see who can make theirs spotless and sparkling the quickest.
  • Set up “summer fair” style games such as indoor bowling, sticky darts or knocking over tin cans with a ball.
  • Have a good old-fashioned pillow fight! Alternatively, pad yourself out with pillows and play sumo-wrestling (try to push each other out of a circle or across a line).

Online Fitness Classes

  • Joe Wicks holds live PE lessons on his Youtube channel every day at 9 am GMT/1 pm ET.
  • Anyone remember Mr Motivator? The eccentric fitness fanatic was a hit on UK TV in the ’90s and the 67-year-old is now back with a short daily livestreamed workout, “Daily Dozen” at 12 pm GMT on Facebook and Youtube.
  • KaisaFit has some great workouts on Facebook.
  • Excel Martial Arts has a 20 minute “Wake up, shake up” daily at 9:30 am on Facebook.
  • Little ones will love Little Kickers Kids Football Coaching on Youtube.
  • Sporty Minis on Facebook have lots of fun workouts for kids.
  • Chirag Lukha are offering free martial arts classes for kids age 5-12 years.
  • SPR Juniors is a fitness class taught by kids to kids on Youtube.
  • Andy’s Wild Workouts are great fun for toddlers.

Inclusive Exercise

Exercise isn’t just for the young and able-bodied. There are some workouts available on Youtube that can be adapted for older adults, disabled people and heavily pregnant women.

My mum-in-law Barbara Brown, who has been teaching dance for about 38 years, has made a short seated workout video for anyone with limited mobility. Her cat, Hiss, decided to join in too. 😂

Outdoor Exercise Ideas

In the UK, we are allowed to leave the house for one form of exercise daily. We can also make the most of any garden or patio areas.

  • Make an obstacle course from household items such as chairs, stools, cushions, garden tools, a slide, etc.
  • Skipping is great fun for all ages! Try these fun skipping games.
  • Use chalk to draw a hopscotch. Or if you’re feeling creative, you can draw out a whole fitness track which includes zig-zags, loops and swirls, stepping stones to jump or hop across and short sprints. I love this one by Rebekah Hooper on Instagram.
  • Hold a family “sports day” (with teams if possible) where you compete in events such as sprinting across the lawn, the egg and spoon race, skipping, sack race (try old pillow cases), beanbag race and weaving in and out of cones.
  • Have a go at football, tennis, rounders or badmington.
  • Go for a walk, jog, cycle or scooter ride. But remember to keep a safe distance from others if you do venture out. British Cycling have a daily cycling challenge.
Image description: a woman stretches down to touch her toes while reaching her other hand up in the air behind her. Image from Pixabay.

Over to you!

I hope these ideas are helpful. What are you doing to stay active at the moment? Let me know in the comments.

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4 responses to “E is for Exercise #AtoZChallenge

  1. I like the animal races idea. We have a local hiking trail that has a fairy tail hike with signs posted for the children prompting them to hop like a bunny, etc. It’s a lot of fun even for grown ups. Weekends In Maine

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