To help stop the spread of COVID-19 we have all been asked to 'Stay at Home', only leaving the home for a set number of reasons. One of which is for one period of exercise a day, it is highly important that we all follow this clear ask from the UK Government. However, this does not mean we are not able to maximise the use of our time spent outdoors or discovering doorstep green spaces.
Being in doorstep green spaces such as; parks, The Chase, canals and your back garden are all ways to help yourself to health. By being active through walking, cycling, running and gardening outdoors it improves both your physical and mental health.
Being Outdoors as a family
In a time where many of us are having to where multiple hats, from professional, to parent and teacher, it can cause a lot of stress on the whole family. Firstly, take a deep breath. You do not need to do all of these roles at once - it is pretty impossible. It is important to be realistic, do not set your self unrealistic goals of what you and your children will achieve in a day. Your families physical and mental health is the priority!
Being outdoors whether it is in the back garden or on a family walk, cycle, scouter, is a great way to keep the family healthy, while helping the children learn, burn off some excess energy. This also gives you all a breath of fresh air that you are in much need of.
There are lots of activities you can do in your own back garden, from bug hunts, to creating a weather stations and wildlife houses!
Maths - no problem: from counting how many different types of plants you have, to measuring the size of your garden, these can be fun ways to learn key maths skills!
Literacy - from spellings to creating stories and poems, for example pick 5 items in the garden and see what wonderful stories they come up with.
There is lots that can be done to help the children learn whilst being active and getting some much needed fresh air. Head over to the Grow up Great Idea's page for activities to do outside!
Being Outdoors as a time for you
With all of the changes to your families and your own lives, it is important that you take some time for you! Enjoying the peace and quiet, with no questions on what is for dinner or where is a toy located, is just what you need to relax and rejuvenate your mind. A few times a week, or when you can, it is important to spend your allocated exercise time just on you! Whether this be going for a walk, a run or a cycle, enjoying the fresh air and letting your mind switch off from parent mode, may just be what you need,
This could be a great time to kick start healthy habits, from starting the Couch to 5K programme or taking the time to go for a walk in your doorstep green spaces while listening to a podcast or to your favourite playlist.
Ways to discover what doorstep Green Spaces you have access to
Chase Fit has a fantastic selection of self led routes around the Cannock Chase District, check them out here and see where you could explore on your doorstep, also they have number of Chase Fit Families Activity Sheets to do at home or while you are in your doorstep green space, from Wellie Walks to Sound Hunts.
Use Google Maps to find out where are the green spaces and green corridors are on your doorstep, Staffordshire County Council offer an interactive map identifying all Country Rights of Way, check out if there are any near you, that you could explore! This is a great activity to do with the children, help them learn the skills of map reading!
There are lots of great apps out there to track you walking, running and cycling such as STRAVA, Nike Run Club to name a few, use these to help measure how active you and the family are. Set yourself family challenges to help keep the children engaged. Race at Your Pace is a great website to help keep all the family active, from monthly challenges for walking, running and specific children challenges.
We would love to hear about how you have been spent time and been active outdoors whilst still staying at home, tag us into your posts on Facebook @ihlcannockchase #chaseup #growupgreat or send them to us on email@example.com.
Stay Safe Everyone x