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Lockdown family fitness: Everything you need for kids and adults to exercise together, from apps to kit

Tara Breathnach
·7-min read
<p>We’ve found some nifty tech and classic gym bits to get the whole household moving</p> (iStock)

We’ve found some nifty tech and classic gym bits to get the whole household moving

(iStock)

Lockdown is upon us again, and all the restrictions that come with it. But one thing that is still being actively encouraged by the government is getting some exercise – while adhering to social distancing rules, of course.

“Adults should do some type of physical activity every day. Any type of activity is good for you. The more you do the better,” says the NHS website.

It also advises that kids aged between five and 18 should “aim for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day across the week” and try to spread activity through the day.

The popularity of classes like the Joe Wicks’s YouTube PE sessions shows that people are definitely happy to get moving, so why not consider combining your workouts with a little family time?

There are plenty of great activities that kids and adults can do to get sweaty and spend time together at home, in the garden or around the local area.

We’re not talking serious Olympic workouts so much as some running and jumping, to warm you up on winter days and have some fun while you do. Inspired? Let’s go.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Running

Perhaps the easiest way to get moving is to put those trainers on and head out for a jog.

We’ve witnessed a number of neighbourhood parents running with their children in the park and we think it’s a lovely way to connect and dust off the cobwebs. Just remember not to go so fast that their little legs can’t keep up.

And note that if you do decide to go with the kids, they’ll need some suitable running shoes. Kavat has some great trainers for children, like these multisport shoes (£51.16, Alpine Trek).

Kavat
Kavat

A similar pair was selected as our best buy in our guide to the best kids’ trainers. Our tester said: “These were one of the easiest to put on and take off, even with small wriggly feet involved, [and] the shoes have a good amount of stretch enhanced by elasticated laces and the hook and loop Velcro strap.

“The treaded non-slip outsole is great for energetic kids, plus they’re particularly durable with extra toe coverage and reinforcement at both the front and back.”

Remember to take a water bottle too, as, even in chilly weather you can get a thirst on if you’re moving at speed. We’ve got some nice picks for adults and some designed especially for children too.

Online PE classes

In case you hadn’t heard, the Body Coach, aka Joe Wicks, is back three days a week with his live morning fitness class (yay!).

Grown-ups and littles alike can join in by tuning into his YouTube channel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am.

The Body Coach/YouTube
The Body Coach/YouTube

Yes, it’s designed for children, but we’ve found it’s definitely got our adult hearts pumping too. Landing a spot in our review of the best online fitness classes to try during lockdown, our tester said: “Workouts have evolved: while there are still plenty of the joyful, PE-style classes that made Joe famous in the first lockdown, there are also more taxing workouts available for free and on demand if his warmth and encouragement has given you a taste for something more.”

Yoga

If you’ve already done some Body Coach sessions, try a little side-by-side yoga with the help of Cosmic Kids Yoga, which you’ll also find on YouTube.

There’s an app for watching the videos on your phone which is ad free, and you’ll get a 14-day free trial.

Cosmic Kids Yoga
Cosmic Kids Yoga

It’s a great way to get your child into yoga if you’re a fan yourself, and we’re sure even the grown-ups will find it beneficial.

The videos are bright and colourful and have different themes such as space, superheroes and safari.

If you are keen to do yoga with your child, investing in a yoga mat could get them excited about it.

These cork yoga mats (£85, Corkyogis) are “splendid, with good grip and a secure grasp on the floor”, said our reviewer of the best yoga mats, meaning they could be just what’s needed for family stretching sessions in the lounge.

Corkyogis
Corkyogis

For more chilled out yoga, perhaps at the end of your workout session, there are guided yoga sessions aimed at kids on the InsightTimer app, which made it into our rundown of the best mindfulness apps.

This yoga nidra course could be one for just before bedtime, with its soothing voice and relaxing messages. It’s been designed especially for youngsters, but you might also find yourself catching some zzzs.

Skipping

Whether you do it in the garden or park on a cold but sunny day, or in the lounge if there’s room to jump without breaking anything, skipping is a great way to feel like you’re doing something seriously active.

There are some modern ropes out there for adults, but you can also go for a classic playground-style one for the kids (and you too!) if you’d rather a hint of nostalgia.

For indoor skipping specifically, this meglio skipping rope pro (£6.99) is well priced, though not as sturdy as some of the others tested for our rundown of the best fitness ropes.

Meligo
Meligo

“If you’re a fan of the simpler things in life, then this is the rope for you,” said our reviewer. “The gold aluminium handles are slim and comfortable, while the stainless steel ball bearings enable a smooth rotation.”

Or how about this gorgeous-looking kids’ skipping rope (£5.99, Jaques London) made with solid wooden handles?

Jaques London
Jaques London

We haven’t tested this rope out but the brand’s wooden memory game won our best buy award in our best memory games review, so you know it’s a make you can trust.

Hula hooping

This fun, retro exercise has had somewhat of a renaissance during lockdown, and is a good way of improving your core fitness. It doesn’t take up much room and provides a great cardio workout, too.

If you’re exercising with a little one in tow, you could use a weighted exercise ring yourself, like this foam padded exercise hoop (£22.92, Amazon) which our reviewer of the best weighted hula hoops described as having a “perfect mix of padding and grip, thanks to the foam casing”.

ResultSport
ResultSport

For children, you could try something like this simple and well-priced twist hula hoop (£2.99, Smyths Toys).

Dancing

If a bit of free-form exercise is what you enjoy as a family, there’s nothing like a good old dance to get the pulse racing.

If you don’t have a streaming service subscription yet, Apple Music offers one for £9.99 per month that you can link to all your Apple products, and there’s a decent three-month trial before you have to commit to paying.

For more ideas of where to get your tunes, check out our round-up of the best music streaming services. Just try not to argue too much about which hits you put on.

If you want some visuals too, though, remember those brilliant “Kitchen Disco” sets from Sophie Ellis-Bextor and family? You can access them on YouTube and have a serious dance at the same time.

Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Kitchen Disco/YouTube
Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Kitchen Disco/YouTube

We loved watching these through previous lockdowns – so much so, they even tempted us to get some sequins on and a glitter ball up.

Need ideas on how to kit your kid out for a workout? find some inspiration in our rundown of everything you need for a Joe Wicks workout

Read More

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10 best kids’ running shoes that are comfortable and supportive

The best resources and lessons to help homeschool kids during lockdown