There are many different activities that make for great exercise, everything from low-key play to structured sports. Here are five great options for homeschoolers to get their daily exercise.
1. Bike Riding – This is an easy, free way to get outside and exercise. Exercising outdoors comes with extra benefits: studies have shown that outdoor workouts have mental health benefits. A study of more than 800 adults showed that outdoor exercise led to increased energy and decreased anger and depression.
Going for a bike ride on trails through a park or even just around the neighborhood (where safe) is a great way to get beneficial outdoor exercise. Unfortunately, riding a bike outdoor requires good weather, so you may need back-up activities for bad weather.
2. Indoor Rock Climbing – Rock climbing offers a great workout and develops useful life skills. Climbers must use problem-solving skills and focus to find the next hold to grab on their route up the wall. This also offers a great social opportunity as well: some gyms are available to homeschoolers on weekday mornings so that students can socialize and bond while discussing routes or encouraging other climbers on their way up the wall.
Climbing is a great opportunity for kids to develop muscles. Parents have to be careful about starting their kids on a weight-training regime (experts advise waiting until kids are 7 or 8 and get the OK from their doctor,) so rock climbing is a great way to build muscle while using only their own body weight as resistance. On the plus side, rock climbing in a gym can be done even during bad weather. Look at what options are available. Most climbing gyms offer a youth climbing team program and special group rates.
3. Swimming – Swimming lessons are a great, regular physical activity that can help kids to meet friends of their age. Swimming is a full-body workout that will give kids exercise while they have fun. Knowing how to swim is also good for a child’s safety as they may go to pool parties or on outings to the beach. If there is an indoor pool in your area, you may be able to schedule this activity during winter months and regardless of the weather.
4. Team Sports – Joining a league will help children to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, and strategy. There are many team sports to choose from depending on your safety concerns and your child’s interests. Look for offerings like baseball, soccer, lacrosse, football, hockey, or other sports that may be available in your area. There may even be indoor leagues in some areas for some of these sports so the kids can play year-round.
5. Trip to the Park – A jungle gym can function like a gym! You can take kids to a park for free play, which just seems like fun and games, but it is actually a great workout. Kids must hold their own body weight on monkey bars, zip lines, and climbing structures, and they will run around the park. It’s a free activity that won’t look or feel like exercise to the kids.