If you’re a parent who’s now at home working or taking care of kids, you’ve likely lost your chances of getting in 10,000 steps to keep your body healthy. And if your child has lost access to school, they’ve also lost recess, lunch gatherings, play dates, physical education, and team sports.
If you’re looking for reasons to make physical movement a priority for you or your kids, we’ve gathered some information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about staying active. About 60 percent of U.S. youth have a less-than-healthy level of cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a 2020 report in Circulation by an American Heart Association panel. Dr. Geetha Raghuveer, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri explains the effects of low fitness are multifaceted, she said. “It’s physical, it’s cardiac, it’s mental, it’s academic, it’s long term, it’s short term.”
“Federal guidelines recommend children and teens ages 6 to 17 get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day, including more intense activities at least three times a week. It helps with their physical fitness and overall health, according to the American Heart Association. Kids who are active are more fit and have less body fat, and stronger bones and muscles. Other benefits of more physical activity in childhood and adolescence include improved cognition, fewer symptoms of depression, and less risk for health conditions like heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes, among other lifelong benefits.”
Maintaining a Healthy Immune System:
Following good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally maintaining a healthy immune system. Your immune system functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by consistent healthy-living strategies, such as:
- Don’t smoke.
- Drink in moderation or avoid alcohol entirely.
- Eat a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get adequate sleep.
Create Healthy Habits
Everyone benefits when parents are active along with their kids. Tackling physical activity as a family will help your children make moving their bodies a lifetime habit, and help you stay physically and mentally healthy too. Move your body every day as much as you can, but even as little as 10 minutes of movement a week has been shown to have health benefits.
Ideas to get active indoors:
Bad weather or pandemic-related restrictions might limit your options outdoors, so here are some indoor options to get you moving:
- Family dance parties
- Balloon volleyball
- Pingpong or hacky sack
- An obstacle course around the house
- Mini indoor trampolines or rebounders
- Family yoga
- Hallway race or relay races in a stretch in your house or backyard
Ideas to get active outdoors:
If you can get outside to exercise this winter, you’ll get extra benefits, since exposure to both fresh air and sunshine improves mental and physical health.
- Ice skating
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Winter biking
- Building a snow person
- Walking, hiking or snowshoeing
- Snowball fights and snow angels
Dry and cold weather climates or indoor heat can be tough on your body, so it’s important to stay warm and hydrated when you exercise. To help keep you hydrated – and satisfy your hunger – while you stay active, we’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes for delicious organic soup from our partnering brands.
In addition to soup, consider adding herbal tea to your winter routine, especially during the pandemic. Kids love a good tea party, and they’ll create a healthy habit if you add it to their daily schedule. Besides helping with hydration, herbal teas carry numerous health benefits. One cup of green tea a day can reduce the chances of getting certain types of cancer, according to one study – just make sure to choose those made with medicinal-grade herbs. (Find out more here about why you should pick organic tea.)
During the winter, choosing organic will help ensure your family has the best chance of enjoying the full spectrum of nutrients found in winter produce, with the fewest pesticides. To learn more about staying healthy this winter with food, drinks, and supplements, read more from our healthy winter blog here.
Managing stay-at-home orders with children is a challenge in itself, but staying active and nourishing your body this winter will help you and them, now and in the long-term.