Keeping your child active at home
We all know that staying active is great for our bodies and our minds. This is true at any age but it is especially important for children as they grow and discover the world around them.
In our survey of children aged 7 to 11, we found that 65 percent of children wanted to do more exercise with their parents. So while families face the challenges that come with staying at home, now is a great time to find new ways to make sure everyone gets the exercise they need.
Fun through movement
With our current restrictions, children will naturally be down on their daily dose of movement.
It’s known that exercise improves the flow of blood to all parts of the body, including the brain, encouraging children to learn and concentrate. It supports maintaining a healthy weight and helps build strong bones, muscles and joints, while boosting the immune system. Exercise can reduce stress, releasing endorphins which help us feel happy.
When we spoke to children aged seven to 11 years old, 77 percent of children said they enjoy sport and exercise because ‘It’s fun’.
Children’s healthy development has always been at the heart of everything we do, as footwear influences how a child’s whole body develops. We’ve worked with Brytespark, experts in biomechanics and physiotherapy, to devise a series of fun, interactive interval training routines for children. The 5-4-5 programme is designed to get children of all ages fit and active - it’s free and can be done in a short space of time at home or in the garden.
The Rite workouts
These short, but high intensity workouts, will keep children’s feet active and minds healthy. Taking inspiration from High Intensity Interval Training, these workouts have been designed especially with growing bodies in mind.
Called 5-4-5, these five minute routines deliver many of the benefits of 23 minutes of aerobic activity. Each includes five intervals; a warm up, high activity, low activity, another high activity and a cool down - that lasts for five minutes. The routines have been designed for three age groups: preschool children aged five and under, primary school children aged five to nine, and older children aged 10 plus. For the younger children the routines are more story led, to keep them entertained and focussed throughout the session. Toddlers are included too with a series of fun, short stretches for little ones that mobilise joints, loosen muscles and nerves and increase blood flow.
Doing two routines a day will deliver many of the benefits of 46 minutes of aerobic activity, getting everyone closer to reaching the Government’s 60 minute target of exercise for children aged five to 18 years.
A note of caution. The ease at which children can complete the full routine, will depend upon their current fitness level. If your child wants to give these routines a go but is not used to aerobic activity, we recommend that you take this slowly and build up to completing the full five minutes. The risk of injury while doing a routine is very low, but if your child wakes up with sore muscles the following day, they’ll be less likely to want to give it another go.
The Rite way to get toddlers moving
All children enjoy using their bodies and the more chances you give them to move, the happier and healthier they will be. Any parent of a toddler knows that they especially love to move (and wiggle, stomp, stretch, jump).
Movement helps toddlers develop motor skills and supports their bone and muscle development. It enables them to establish a healthy sensory system so they can process the world around them. Being physically active supports their attention and learning span and helps them in developing social skills. It can also aid better sleep.
For many toddlers, movement can be restricted by long stretches in car seats or safely strapped into buggies when out and about. And now, we are all spending long spells of time indoors and at home.
We challenged Brytespark , a team of biomechanists and physiotherapists, to devise a short routine of stretches and movements for toddlers that will mobilise their joints, loosen muscles and nerves and increase blood flow. The stretching exercises they’ve devised will help to improve your child’s flexibility, allowing muscles and joints to bend and move easily through their full range of motion, helping them to stay mobile and active.
This short “Toddler Stretches” routine takes less than five minutes, is simple and easy to follow. Click here to watch the video.
Suggested stretches – repeat each stretch six times
Arms out to the side and twist from the waist from side to side.
Legs shoulder width apart. Squat down and lift arms above head.
From standing position, lunge to the side, lift arms above head