This week, DCU kicked off the first in a four-part series of Facebook Live broadcasts- COVID-19 How children and adults can stay active at home with our team of researchers from the School of Health and Human Performance and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics.
Dr Stephen Behan was first up answering a variety of questions (some pretty tough ones too!) from a very engaged audience who were looking for insights and advice on what is best to do for health and well-being during this very challenging time.
Here are the top five take-aways from Dr Behan’s broadcast:
Try and build in movement breaks into your child’s daily routine.
If you have them engaged in school work during the transition from one subject to another, encourage them to take five minutes between taking up the next task.
For example, get them to jog on the spot, stretch etc.
Build these movement breaks into their daily routine so that they are active and do not remain stationery for the whole day.
For children of different ages and abilities
Use the same activity but make small changes to suit the age and ability and thus keep all engaged.
The process is called differentiation- and it matches the exercise in an age-appropriate way.
Use little tricks and match the task to the age- for example - ball bouncing competition- set a target for your 8 year old and a target for a 4 year old!
Use online resources
Such as Go Noodle which has thousands of videos online for movement, dancing, exercise.
They are designed for moving in very restricted spaces- such as classrooms and will suit anyone living in a smaller space with little access to outdoor areas.
Also, check out DCU Sport who post daily home workouts that you can enjoy.
Another resource is the Move Well Move Often programme from the Professional Development Resource for Teachers which has super tips.
The main thing is to try and be active and promote the value of moving and physical well-being.
Use your children’s imagination
Use your children’s imagination when pulling together activities to do outside together!
Let your kids come up with ideas and adapt that into whatever activity you are doing- use household items such as a tin of beans for goalposts, socks for throwing games!
Ask your children what work-outs, games would they design and build challenges into them to keep kids engaged!
Make sure to move!
Get out and about, particularly if you are spending all day working from home.
Try and build activity breaks into your daily work-day.
If you start at 9am, make sure to get a walk in at lunch; or try some stretching or yoga.
The goal is to try and get-out and use that fresh air! (All while maintaining social distancing!)
Tune in again next Wednesday, April 1st at 1.00pm when Dr Sarahjane Belton, Head of the DCU School of Health and Human Performance will be answering all your questions on how to stay active at home during COVID-19.