Humans have long known that there are many benefits to being active on a daily basis. Besides the fact that being active presents opportunities to socialise and explore our surroundings, evidence shows that activity boosts positive thinking, increases endorphins, promotes better cardiac health, and regulates body weight[1].

However, there are many situations where you and your family may not naturally be able to get out and be as active as you’d like. From cold, wintery periods and rainy days to the recent pandemic that’s kept people indoors, many things can limit our ability to be physically engaged.

However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even if you can’t leave the house or afford to spend large sums on physical activities, there are activities that everybody in the family can do to stay active. Let’s take a brief look at some of the best ways your entire family can be active during restrictive times.

Create a Schedule/Routine for the Kids

Being stuck either in the home or simply at home for periods of time can be difficult. Arguably, it’s more difficult when you have children, who are naturally energetic and want to be active. While this can be a stress point, it also makes keeping the family active easier within the constraints of around-the-home activities.

The easiest way is to create a schedule or routine for kids that ensure they are getting specific amounts of exercise and activity each day. Whether it is playing outdoors or being physically active inside the home, having a predetermined time each day will give the kids something to look forward to alongside a sense of normalcy for the family during such trying times.

Walk the Dog (or Play with the Pets)

Assuming you are not quarantined within the home, those who have pets can turn one or more required activities into an opportunity for the whole family. Taking your dog on a walk every day is an activity everybody can participate in, as are romps around the garden with the dog. Even if confined indoors, playing with your dog or cat can be an activity that involves everybody.

Ultimately, keeping your pet active is necessary to keep it healthy[2]. Regular check-ups are another important consideration. This is why people often consider pet insurance as an option, as it may help cover costs of medicine, surgeries and other important forms of care for your pet. Pet insurance from the likes of Everypaw offer different cover types and levels of cover ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 depending on the exact choice. Consider pet cover options to help ensure your pet lives a long and happy life.

Brisk Walks Around the House

Adults and children alike don’t have to leave the premises to be active during winter months or periods of unrest. Both inside the home and outside of it present opportunities for people to be active. Research shows that 30 minutes of brisk walking per day can improve positive thinking, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and help with both weight and sleep regulation. [3]

For those living in flats or high-density areas, even walking from room to room can be helpful. While each member of the family may need to take turns in this setting, there are plenty of hours in the day to work in a brisk walk for each person. Likewise, outdoor walking even around the perimeter of the home provides a sufficient atmosphere in which to be active.

Dancing and Other Group Exercises

People of all ages love to dance. The best forms of physical activity – in terms of people sticking with them – usually incorporate fun into the equation. This is why dancing is highly recommended as an activity when one or more family members cannot get out of the house as they would prefer. A variety of dancing workout tutorials and sessions can be found online to make learning how to dance both fun and easy.

There are also other group exercises to consider in situations where leaving the home isn’t feasible. Whether it’s doing sets of jumping jacks, group ball passes or something entirely different, group exercises can involve the entire family and boost activity levels.

No-Equipment Exercises for All Ages

If you and your family are suddenly unable to be as active outside of the home as you once were, then the disruption of routines can be difficult. You might not have a lot of exercise equipment or items that are useful for being active in the home, but there are many exercises that require no equipment at all. From young children to the elderly, making the most of these exercises is crucial when you cannot be as active outside the home.

Some examples include stair-stepping, lunges and push-ups. Household chores are another great option, with cleaning a good way for older family members to stay active. Even just a couple of plastic bottles or canisters filled with water can serve as impromptu weights for simple strength training.

Even during stressful or otherwise difficult situations, staying active is both sensible and possible. Using a variety of different techniques, every member of the family can find activities to enjoy both inside and around the home during winter, mass illness or any other situation that limits activity in the world-at-large.

[1]      https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/exercise-fitness/benefits-of-exercise

[2]      https://www.thehealthypetclub.co.uk/exercising-your-pet/

[3]      https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/keeping-active/activities/walking