One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more, and it’s a good goal for kids as well as parents. Adding more exercise to your student’s routine is an effective way to keep him or her active during the Fall and Winter.

Exercise helps kids expel energy and stay healthy, but it’s also essential to effective learning.

Exercise boosts brainpower because it:

  • Pumps more blood to the brain
  • Increases the brain’s levels of oxygen, glucose, and hormones
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves memory, attention, and other processing functions

Does your child have a regular exercise routine? Both the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children and adolescents exercise for an hour a day. Not all of this exercise has to be vigorous, however. You can help your child be active throughout the day by breaking up virtual school lessons with 5-minute exercises. Some of these activities can even count toward your student’s physical education hours. So let’s get moving.


These simple 5-minute exercises are easy for kids to pick up. Switch them up for variety or combine them for longer workouts. Try the exercises below.


—This is a fun and easy exercise that kids will gladly try. See how long your child can keep the hoop in motion.


—Kids can use a timer to do five cardio exercises in a row for one minute each. Some effective exercises are jumping jacks, high knees, invisible jump rope, butt kicks, and jog in place.


—Two songs add up to around five minutes, so ask your child to pick two favorites and start jamming.


—Jumping rope is an excellent cardio exercise for all ages. It’s best to jump rope outside, although it can also work in a large space with tile.


—These are just a couple examples of chores that double as exercises! Tell your child that he or she can play outside after shoveling or raking a small area for five to ten minutes.


—Can your child scale the steps ten times in a row? Find out! It might be tougher than he or she expects.


—It’s not technically an exercise, but it’s still a good way for kids to move around, loosen up, and stay flexible. Your child should also stretch to cool down after heavy exercising.

For other physical activity ideas for kids, take a look at these resources:

Getting your child moving throughout the day, even for just five minutes at a time, can make a big difference. It helps kids shake off sluggishness and maintain motivation during the school day. Also, there are many other ideas to help to get your kids off the couch.