Bruce talks about the benefits of family exercise and physical wellbeing

This month The Fathering Project is providing fathers with tips help supporting their children’s wellbeing during these testing times, and beyond.

Physical activity during COVID-19

Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind.

Exercise also improves mental health and can reduce the risk of depression and mild anxiety and improve overall wellbeing.

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Research shows that keeping active can:
  • help lift mood
  • help improve sleeping patterns
  • increase energy levels
  • help block negative thoughts and/or distract people from daily worries
Did you know, Australian kids are some of the least active in the world?

As few as 1 in 5 are meeting the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise.

While it is a bit more difficult at the moment to engage in your regular exercise routines, it is can also be a great opportunity for you and your family to establish some new strategies and regular routines to stay fit and healthy together.

Six tips for family physical activity:
  1. Set up a regular routine to be active every day. Making a specific time to be active helps ensure you get your daily physical activity.
  2. Keep screen time to a minimum. It will be easier said than done at the moment for the whole family, but where possible, try to create clear and consistent limits. Think about what your kids could be doing instead such as being active, having family time or playing creatively.
  3. Exercise with your family. Plan time to be active with your children with games at home, walks in the park, or cycling can be a way the whole family can relax, be together, active and healthy whilst at home. 
  4. Play with your kids. Play is a great way to get fit and have fun. Playing chasey, a ball game, running races or a dance competition will get you puffing plus make you laugh which is also great for your health and wellbeing.
  5. Set yourself and your family exercise goals. You could record your steps or time you have played. Record your progress on a weekly activity chart or map how far you have travelled. Reward yourselves with something you value.
  6. Walk and talk. Take your phone and have walking meetings with colleagues or catch ups with friends and family to encourage them to walk too. Get the kids walking and talking to friends.

These tips were adapted and retrieved from the World Health Organization.

More support:

If you feel you need more information or links to support for you and your family, you can find this in our new At Home section of The Fathering Project website.

If you or your children are struggling:
Kids can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or you can contact your child’s GP.
If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.


Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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