Quarantine. Shelter in place. School closures. You may be experiencing a necessary new normal, but in order to safeguard your health (not to mention your sanity), you and the kids will need to make time each day for physical activity. Here are some ideas.

  1. Take a walk

    Stress and social isolation are bad for your immune system. A brisk walk outside is one of the easiest things you can do right now to maintain your overall health. Avoid crowded areas or contact with other people— six feet is considered to be a safe distance by the CDC—and don’t go out if you’re sick or if you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus.

  2. Embrace screens

    They’re probably watching YouTube right now anyway, so try building some tech-enabled physical activity into your kids’ daily schedule. Search for yoga, dance, or cardio kickboxing workouts on YouTube. The website activeforlife.com has short PE lessons for younger kids. The Nike Training Club app has workouts led by top athletes including soccer player Christen Press.

  3. Raid the closet or garage

    Got an old jump rope? Hula hoop? Sidewalk chalk? Now’s the time to pull out old and forgotten toys and equipment. See if anyone in the family knows how to draw a hopscotch grid. Play water balloon tag. Toss the foam football around the living room. Because now is not a great time to be taking unexpected trips to medical facilities, use caution with roller skates, trampolines, skateboards, and anything else that could potentially lead to an ER visit.

  4. Turn on some music

    Younger kids will eagerly accept an invitation to an indoor dance party. Older kids may need to be cajoled or coerced. Suggest that each family member take a turn sharing his or her favorite music with the rest of the family (no critical comments about anyone’s choices allowed!).

  5. Pretend it’s off season

    Your child may not be able to attend team practices right now, but with a little ingenuity she can keep her skills sharp for her favorite sport. Set up objects in the backyard or neighborhood park to dribble the soccer ball around. Shoot hoops in the driveway. Follow a strength-training routine. Bonus points if older siblings can enlist younger ones as team players.

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Updated: April 13, 2020