Health expert shares ways to keep kids active while virtual learning

Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 3:24 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Since many kids will be attending school online, P.E. may not be a part of their day. But kids can still be active.

Le Bonheur’s Clinical Exercise Physiologist Webb Smith said, “I would argue that now physical activity is going to be more important that it’s ever been, particularly since some of these kids are going to be virtual. They’re going to have long times on the screen.”

Keeping kids exercising does not have to be complicated. The great outdoors is your friend.

“There’s already the social distance built in. So having an adventure on a trail in the woods, or in a park near your house, those things are really conducive to social distancing,” said Smith.

Smith advises parents to let kids take 10-minute physical activity breaks every hour.

“Jumping, push-ups, sit-ups, even if it’s just going out and tossing a ball or take a quick lap around yard. Just moving for 10 minutes,” he said.

It is a good idea to let kids get creative too.

“That unstructured play where you give them a little parameter when you say ‘Here’s a lawn, go find a game,’ and they have to problem solve. That’s equally as educational as solving a math problem,” Smith explained.

Not only does exercise help students relieve stress, but Smith added it can also be a good bonding activity for families.

“When parents are thinking through this, they should not overthink it, and just create space where kids can be active.”

Smith also added that there is no harm in wearing a mask while exercising, especially if you find yourself in a busy park.

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