In England we are currently in another national lockdown. Things are a little different to the first lockdown of March 2020 where playparks were closed as these and outdoor parks and gardens have remained open this time.
That’s lucky as it’s the middle of winter in England and it’s freezing outside, so we’re not spending as much time outdoors as we’d like to and the kids are getting really bored stuck indoors all the time, so even a quick ten minute play at the park is exciting for them.
We are currently allowed out for exercise in our local area for one hour per day. Even though it’s cold and I’m missing the gym a lot, it’s great to get outdoors to exercise each day.
Here are some of the outdoor activities you can do to stay healthy during lockdown:
Going for a walk with the kids is our favourite thing to do right now. It gets us all out of the house, stops the kids from bouncing off the walls and gives me and Ben a break from work and home schooling which is a massive challenge! We are stacked with work and deadlines and really don’t have the time to home school too! Even just a walk around the block gives us time to catch up with one another away from the demands of the house (work, kids, house work) and clear our heads, exercise and feel less stressed.
Running is another easy exercise to do outdoors. All you need is a pair of running trainers and some active wear. It’s also perfect to do with kids too. My eight year old daughter loves to go for a run around the block, or two, with me. We don’t go as far as I would on my own, but it’s ideal to introduce her to running and great bonding time. Sometimes she’ll cycle and I’ll run!
If you have a bike then you can still cycle in your local area. If you don’t then now is a good time to start, as the roads and paths are clearer than ever. You can get bikes, cycling equipment, and safety gear from most retailers – don’t forget to check sites like Raise to see if any stores have discounts going and get started with a new pastime in the fresh air. Just don’t drive to cycle paths that are far away as you may be hit with a fine for breaching local lockdown rules! Check the local lockdown rules before you go too far. Cycling is great for the kids too. Sometimes kids will find going for a walk, or at least the idea, boring, but they’ll be more excited to go out on their bikes. Just remember to get them into their safety and visibility equipment!
If the kids have scooters then whizzing round the block is great fun. Pop your running shoes on to keep up!
If you have a horse then you may be wondering whether you can still ride during this lockdown. British Equestrian have confirmed it is fine to ride your horse for exercise purposes, providing UK government guidelines, such as social distancing, are observed at all times. You can travel to look after your horse at its stables if needed. If your stables are in need of some TLC this winter or an upgrade this month then try Vale Stables.
Luckily the parks are open for this lockdown, including the kids play equipment. It’s something fun for the kids to do, but it is pretty freezing, so wrap up warm and be prepared for all the metal bars to be super cold!
Local hills, lakes and woodlands
If you have countryside within walking distance then make the most of it. Local hills, nature reserves, reservoirs, lakes and beaches (if you’re lucky to live by one) are perfect activity ideas that get you surrounded by nature at this much needed time. Check out www.footpathmap.co.uk to discover local footpaths near you and go explore!
Outdoor exercise equipment
Many kids parks have outdoor exercise equipment for adults too. This can be a great replacement for the gym for now and keep adults warm whilst the kids play in the park. Just don’t go on a snowy or rainy day!
Spring will start in a couple of months, so it’s not too early to start thinking about the garden, tidying it up and planting some bulbs or even potatoes in preparation. Or how about a fun DIY project to create a sheltered outdoor seating area that you can enjoy in the winter too?
It’s not so fun to be outdoors when it’s cold, but there are still some fun things to do with the kids to stay healthy and get some exercise even though we are limited by time, distance and other guidelines.
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One thought on “Outdoor activities you + the kids can do during lockdown to stay healthy”
Lots of good ideas!