Now that kids are back in school (kind of), it’s important to talk about the implications of keeping kids active. Unfortunately, for most kids, gym/recess is the only exercise outlet that they get all day. With more and more schools going online for the remainder of 2020, it’s EXTREMELY important to plan active time with your kids as this affects their physical and mental health. Even if schools are not going virtual, chances are they won’t be playing dodgeball or running around playing tag.
According to the CDC, physical activity has been linked to higher academic achievement, elevated self-esteem, and reduced stress and anxiety. Thus, with organized sports, clubs, and gym class being put on hold or radically changed, we need to come up with other solutions to keep kids active during these times.
One key element to keep in mind is the social interaction that these types of activities have for kids. Therefore, it’s not as simple as asking your kid to go run around the block. Some creative strategies that can be implemented during these times are:
1) Try and find camps/clubs that are still up and running
2) Try virtual Zoom workouts (there are a bunch of free organizations doing these online)
3) Encourage friendly play outside with friends
4) Play in the pool if you, a friend, or family members have access to one
5) Buy at-home fitness equipment (encourage activity, but don’t force it on your child – lead by example)
6) Encourage general movement – taking the dog for a walk, going on a post-dinner family walk together, etc. You can even do family challenges of 10,000 steps a day to keep both them and you accountable
At the end of the day, we need to encourage kids to stay active in any way possible during this pandemic in order to support their immune function and improve their metabolic health.
Baker, K (2020). The Cost of Kids Losing Gym Class. Axios, https://www.axios.com/kids-gym-coronavirus-online-school-1b28a8a7-363a-45c1-9c9d-6bdb105d3947.html
Dr. Ryan P. Lowery is the CEO of Ketogenic.com, author of The Ketogenic Bible, President of the Applied Science and Performance Institute and KetoPhD™. His mission is to spread awareness around the Ketogenic Lifestyle and its’ many benefits beyond body composition. He earned his BS and MS in exercise physiology and exercise and nutrition science from the University of Tampa and completed his doctorate work at Concordia University in Health and Human Performance with a focus on “The Effects of a Well-Formulated Ketogenic Diet and Exogenous Ketone Supplementation on Various Markers of Health and Body Composition in Healthy and Diseased Populations.” Over his career, Ryan has published over 150 papers, abstracts, and book chapters on human performance and sports nutrition and has dedicated his life to educating the masses. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his best friend, Scoot the Keto Pup, jet skiing, and traveling around the world. The way to his heart is through a good glass of wine and Keto desserts.