Boys need to move almost as much as they need to breathe. Moving helps their brains to work better.
They need to wiggle, fidget, and squirm. Instead of fighting this natural tendency, we should work with it by giving our boys opportunities throughout the day to move!
We all know how important it is to be physically active. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that kids get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
You might think it will be hard to jam another hour of something into your child’s day; however, it isn’t as hard to fit exercise into your day as you might think!
Here are 13 Easy Ways to Fit Exercise Into Your Day:
Before Schoolwork Starts
1 – Calisthenics
Have your child do some light calisthenics before sitting down to do book work – my boys enjoy competing to see who can do the most push-ups and/or pull-ups.
When they first started, neither one of them could do ONE full push-up correctly. Now, they can drop and give me TWENTY without a problem.
2 – Walk/Run
Go for a walk before you start your lessons for the day. Ask your child to run laps around the house before you get started.
3 – Play
Often, when kids are playing, they are getting exercise. Try sending them outside to jump on the trampoline or ride their bike before you start their daily lessons. It definitely gets the blood pumping and helps them to think more clearly.
4 – Breaks
Try to take physical breaks between subjects. Give your child 15 minutes to get the wiggles out before starting a new subject.
5 – Phys Ed
Schedule a certain amount of PE time and allow your child to choose when he does it. I’ve found that my boys will often choose to start their day with phys ed. It’s a great way to wake up in the morning.
6 – Unexpected
Surprise your kids by stopping whatever you’re doing and telling your kids to drop and give you 20. Or suddenly ask them to run down the hall and back 10 times.
This is great to do with reluctant kids. The surprise makes it more fun to get some exercise in and also makes them more willing to focus on their lessons afterward.
7 – Incorporate into Lessons
Plan physical activities as part of your lesson (i.e., acting out whatever lesson you just learned, throwing a ball back and forth while studying spelling words, throwing a bunch of words on the floor and having your child jump to the correct word when you give a definition, etc.)
8 – Variation
Try scheduling more physical activities between more sedentary ones.
If you have younger children, you will also want to be sure to spend some time working on their fine motor skills and gross motor skills.
After Schoolwork or on Weekends
9 – Outside Play – Encourage (or require) your kids to get an hour of outside play time each day.
10 – Game Systems
Let them play some of the more physical games on the Wii (or other gaming system) such as Active Life, Wii Fit, or Sports Resort.) This way they will get exercise without even realizing it.
In many areas, there are homeschool leagues which are often more family-friendly than the public school options.
12 – Get Dad Involved
Have dad go into the yard and toss a football, throw a baseball, shoot some free throws, kick the soccer ball around, etc.
13 – Get the Family Involved
Try to do something more physically active as a family. Take a hike, go on a bike ride, go camping, etc.
As you can see, it isn’t as hard as you might think to fit exercise into your day. With a little bit of thinking, you can help your child to have the healthy habit of being more active!
And the more your son moves, the more likely he is to retain the information that he is learning. It’s definitely worth the effort.
Question: How have you been able to fit exercise into your day? Do you also take part or do you have your kids exercise on their own? Please leave a comment below.
10 thoughts on “13 EASY Ways for Homeschoolers to Fit Exercise into your Day”
Oh this is just great, I’m going to print it and put it up where I can see it! Thanks! 🙂
Glad you found it helpful, Mairi!
I’ve never really had a problem keeping my kids active. Sometimes, when one little boy is distracted, I send him for a mandatory break, which usually involves shooting hoops! We play organized sports year round, so our evenings are filled with exercise.
That’s great, Amy. Love how you have your son take mandatory breaks which are physical. When my boys were younger, I would make them run laps around the house between math problems. Helped them to focus better – and be more eager to actually do the math! LOL
We agree, kids need exercise in order to allow them the ability to focus on their work. It makes sense to exercise before starting the day as they have just been sleeping and still for the past 8-10 hours. We love jumping rope, it’s a great cardio activity that can be done inside or outside and is something you can do alone or with others.
Your jump ropes look great! Yes, that would be a good way to wake up for sure!
This is certainly a struggle for me. I do my own workout early in the morning and I don’t need much else after that, but my kids (age 3 and 5) wake up with endless energy. I don’t feel like I have enough time or space to get them moving. I am trying to have them do exercises or play outside. But there is really no room to run and play. Our backyard is a garden and a carport. So in order to do anything active we need to leave the house. We have an alley and busy street on either side of our home. I have taken them to parks and bouncy houses, but I really need to get creative as they get older. Eventually I hope to do some running with them around our neighborhood. I want to tap into swimming as well. My goodness, they just ooze energy and it seems like no matter what I do they are wild as all get out! One is a girl and one is a boy. Thanks for the tips. I do incorporate movement in our day, but it is definitely a struggle since I would rather sit and read all day after my workout. And when we leave the house it takes so much time away from things I already barely have time to do like cook or clean. ((Sigh))
I hear you. It’s hard to get everything done as a parent. I always try to remind myself that someday I won’t regret time that I didn’t spend cleaning… versus time I spent doing stuff with and for my kiddos.
Is it possible for your kids to run laps around your house? I’ve had mine do that before. They actually thought it was kinda fun! I’m sure you’ll find a way… Hang in there! Yours are still young. It does get easier as they get older.
Thanks for the reminder that boys HAVE to move. I am a “get it done NOW” kind of person and love checking things off my list quickly. Remembering to let my boys wiggle is a challenge. The days we throw balls between math questions, take a walk between subjects or just go outside for a short break to act like hooligans are the days we all go to bed happier and healthier. 🙂 In response to Shonda and her littles…when mine were younger we also had a small living space. I would make an obstacle course for them using our furniture. Somehow tunneling under the table, crab walking to the living room, hopping around soft toys on the floor, etc…made our small space more fun on the days we couldn’t get out.
I’m a checklist kind of person, too, Laura! It definitely takes conscious thought to take time for those shenanigans. But it’s worth it. Those are the fun memories our kids will take with them once they’re grown.
Also, great ideas you shared for Shonda and others in small living spaces. Thanks so much!!!