Is your child getting enough exercise?
31% of children in England did less than 30 minutes of daily exercise in 2020.
More than half of children and young people in England did not manage to achieve the recommended 60 minutes+ levels of daily exercise.
Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth: “We know the pandemic has had a huge impact on children and young people’s engagement in sport and physical activity…..physical literacy is essential in creating a positive and lifelong relationship with activity and without it many will not enjoy the health and social benefits associated with living active lives.”
However, the good news is that children and young people are embracing other forms of exercise to replace school group or team activities – cycling, walking and at-home fitness sessions are some examples.
And at-home fitness can easily include yoga, bringing the benefits not only of moving the body, but also starting to understand the concepts of stillness, concentration, and relaxation.
Yoga appeals to children because they are naturally interested in exploring shapes that can be made with their bodies, and participating in a live online session gives them the opportunity to really enjoy this, while being guided by a teacher. The two-way dialogue is important, as the personal encouragement results in a high level of engagement from the kids.
The recent DRUVA free sessions of ‘Cheeky Little Monkeys’ yoga for kids illustrated this beautifully – the kids who participated in the 15 minute sessions all spent much more time afterwards showing their parents their favourite yoga poses.
One parent contacted me in the evening to say that his son was still busy showing him different postures. So although the session itself was short, it stimulated lots more activity during the rest of the day and beyond.
The community aspect is also valuable, as kids can meet up with friends and family members who they might not normally be able to connect with. We had kids from various locations in England, Scotland and France, a great opportunity for them to see each other.
During lockdown, we are all having to get creative about how we keep ourselves fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. And that includes finding ways for our kids to have fun and feel healthy.
Michelle Helstrip - Yoga Therapist