Home-schooling, online learning and lockdown are driving parents around the world absolutely crazy! The days seem blurred, four walls are driving us crazy and the kids are just glued to their screens, working from home or ‘doomscrolling’ on social media. What’s worse is after our one walk of the day, we’re pretty much pottering around the house, lounging on the sofa or hunched over our desks. As much as there is little else for us to do, we need to be mindful of those niggling aches and pains, the lethargy in our bodies and how it’s having an impact on the physical wellbeing of kids too.
Children need to move and exercise as much as they want to Netflix and chill. In fact, there is research to suggest movement and exercise encourages active learning patterns, cognitive function and can even help children develop spatial awareness and balance too.
Kids have a lot of energy to burn – some suggest, just as much as an athlete! Sitting in front of their laptops, taking notes or working out of a text book all day isn’t doing them any favours. However, you can break up their days by adding in some simple stretches and mobility exercises.
Why stretch and mobility? In PE or with the wonderful Joe Wicks, they’re probably getting some heart pumping movement in. But, if they’re going back to their desks, bedrooms or just lounging around, their general flexibility and mobility is going to take a bit of back seat.
Here are a few reasons why encouraging your child to stretch is really beneficial for their mental and physical wellbeing:
- Muscle, joint and bone health: from a young age, especially whilst children are still growing, it’s important to keep their bodies supple and mobile. As students sit at desks all day when at school or doing their homework, it can lead to back pain, tight hamstrings and hunched shoulders. Getting students up from their desks to do a few roll downs, head and shoulder rolls can do wonders for their posture and mobility.
- Healthy breathing: ‘desk’ apnea which is an extension of Linda Stone’s ‘email apnea’ is when we subconsciously hold our breath when working on our devices – up to 80% of us do this and it can lead to feeling sleepy, stress and low mood too: something we’ve probably all noticed in teens! Getting your kids up out of their chairs and swinging their arms around, taking a few big deep breaths and stretching out their legs can help oxygen circulate their bodies, regulate their breathing and give them the energy boost they need to focus and pay attention to their work.
- Calm: we know kids have a lot of energy and sometimes rigorous exercise can leave them bouncing off the walls…not what you need in lockdown. Mobility and stretch can help kids exercise in a calm and restful way. It helps them slow down, be present and mindful – something which is known to really help student emotional and mental health. Plus, you can join in too!
Taking the stress and ‘busy-ness’ out of home-schooling is what we all need right now. A Purestretch routine can be great for the whole family – keeping your bodies supple and minds calm in lockdown!
Zahara is founder of School Should Be. She is an English teacher, personal trainer and Purestretch instructor to
If you would like to get your little ones active and having fun, then Lorna is the girl for you. Lorna runs FREE active facebook classes, just watching her gives me so much positive energy
In the meantime here’s a quick stretch video that I recorded for my niece and nephew but feel free to join in .. ps ..Grab a Ball!