How Can My Child Keep Their Fitness During COVID-19 Isolation?
As a Podiatrist working in a small business and youth soccer coach I have first hand experience on how the recent COVID-19 pandemic is affecting small businesses and our daily lives.
Playing sport is a massive part of most Australians' daily lives, it's what we talk about over coffee, it's how we keep fit, it's where we socialise, it's embedded in who we are.
Due to the suspension of most of the upcoming sporting seasons here are some common questions I have received recently from concerned parents on how to maintain their child's fitness during the break.
What Should my Child do to Stay Fit and Prevent Injuries?
Currently there is a great unknown with the COVID-19 outbreak on when/if the winter sport seasons will return.
One of the biggest casuative factors of injury is a sudden increase in load when muscles are deconditioned.
Due to the forced suspension of training due to COVID-19 it makes it hard for your child to keep fit and match ready.
The best way to keep fit without playing organised sport is to try and replicate the movements and intensity of training and games with sport specific exercises at home or in the park.
What are Sport Specific Exercises?
Sport specific exercises are exercises which mimic the actions, movements and intensity used during a specific sport.
Many of the winter sports including Soccer, Football, Netball and Basketball are all multi-directional high load sports which have high intensity periods followed by low intensity periods.
The key to any sport specific exercise is to look at the sport and break down what movements occur during the match and try to replicate that in exercises as best as possible.
Exercises to build strength in your child's legs such as single leg calf raises, lunges, skipping, side to side hops and jumps all help to improve balance and foot and ankle stability in a multi-directional environment.
If your child's sport uses a ball then exercises such as dribbling and passing with the ball is also key to maintain their control and touch.
Does Running Maintain Match Fitness?
Match fitness is often hard to replicate as your child will usually push their bodies harder and faster during games in comparison to training.
A common mistake made by coaches is to send children out for long runs without any other short high intensity exercise.
A study found on average during a game of soccer, players:
- Walking 20-30% of the game
- Running at low intensity 15-25% of the game
- Running at moderate intensity 10-15% of the game
- Running at high intensity 4-8% of the game
These findings suggest that if your child is training with low intensity long runs then they are not prepared for the moderate to high intensity movements required.
Interval training that includes short high intensity bursts followed by periods of walking and low intensity running using the ball is the best way to try to replicate a match situation
Start Planning Ahead Now!
The regulations relating to COVID-19 are regularly changing, but by planning ahead now you can be prepared if you and your family have to self isolate.
Make the most of being able to get out to ovals, courts and open spaces to start having individual training sessions while we still have the ability to use the open space to run, dribble and pass.
Plan for some training sessions that also require less space with exercises such as skipping, squats, lunges, jumps which all able to be performed in a small backyard.
Start planning now on how we are going to keep ourselves and our children fit for the time if/when we have to self isolate.
Need more Help?
If you have any more questions about how to keep your child active during the COVID-19 pandemic or for injury prevention tips just send us a message or call 8330 0004 and I will be happy to help.
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry