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Staying active outdoors during the coronavirus outbreak

It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk along the street and back again, or a visit to your local woodland or open space. A little fresh air can go a long way towards giving everyone some much needed breathing space. Spending time outside is great for your physical wellbeing, and for clearing your mind and lifting your spirits. Here are some tips for making the most of your time outdoors.

When you’re out and about, make sure to stay in your local area. Keep at least two metres away from anyone you don’t live with, and remember to wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. It’s a good idea to take some hand sanitiser with you, to keep everyone’s hands clean while you’re outside. Taking these precautions means you’ll be less likely to catch or spread the virus when you’re out and about. You can find out more about keeping your family safe during coronavirus here.

Tips for staying active outside

Tip #1: Climb like a monkey

Too much time indoors can sometimes have you and your kids climbing the walls, so why not get outside and climb something else instead? Hills, logs, even stairs – see how many different things you can find to climb.

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Tip #2: Hot lava

A quick way to cool tempers is to get outside and pretend the lines on the pavement are hot lava. Get kids to hop, skip and jump over the lines and cracks and see who can get the furthest without stepping on any.

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Tip #3: Shadow chaser

On a sunny day, pop outside with your kids and try chasing each other’s shadows. Make someone the ‘chaser’ and give them a point for each time they catch someone’s shadow by jumping on it. Take it in turns and see who can collect the most points.

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Tip #4: Puddle jump

Even if the sun isn’t shining, you can still brighten up those rainy days by doing a little jumping in puddles. Have a competition to see who can make the biggest splash - just don’t forget those wellies and waterproofs!

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Tip #5: Drawing with chalk

We’ve all been enjoying seeing rainbows appear in windows and on pavements. If you have some chalk, why not draw a picture to cheer up other people while they’re exercising? Or mark out squares to play hopscotch?

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Tip #6: Balancing act

You don’t need fancy equipment to practise balancing – try balancing on kerbs (safely away from traffic of course!) or lines on the pavement. Who can walk the furthest without wobbling?

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Tip #7: Football fun

If you have a football fan in your house, they might be a little sad they can’t get out for a kick about with their friends. Why not have a family game instead? It’s fine to do this in a local park or other green space close to home as long as it only involves members of your household and follow physical distance guidelines by staying 2 metres away from other people.

Use jumpers for goalposts and have a kick about. Take it in turns being the goalkeeper and add a point for every goal scored. To make it more interesting, you can subtract a point for every missed attempt. If you fancy another footy competition why not take it in turns at keepie-uppies?

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It’s good to play

You may feel self-conscious about playing outside with your children in the current circumstances, but don’t. Play is really important for children’s health and wellbeing – and it’s good for you too! Playing outdoors together will help you build a strong relationship with your children and relieve any tensions that may be building indoors. And did we mention it’s fun?