It’s already a struggle for people to stay fit during regular times. Community quarantines and social distancing make it even harder for families to partake in their favorite activities. However, even COVID-19 isn’t an excuse to let your physical fitness slide.
A healthier body means that you’re less likely to catch the infection and suffer complications if you do get it. As the pandemic goes on, learn how to keep your family in top shape!
Only Go Outside If It’s Safe
Experts recommend around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Most people prefer to spend this time through outdoor activities, such as running trails or cycling to work.
However, COVID-19 has pushed many communities to enact social distancing measures to keep people indoors and slow down transmission rates of the virus.
Of course, local conditions may vary. If you’re fortunate to be in a sparsely populated area, it might be fine to go out once in a while. Before venturing out, check with local regulations to see if community members are allowed to go out for non-urgent matters like exercise.
Being outside increases the variety of activities that your family can do together. However, don’t let your guard down.
Avoid crowded areas and always keep a distance of several feet from other people to prevent inhalation of any infectious droplets. Wear face masks to reduce infection risks further.
What if you can’t go out? Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean that you’re unable to stay fit. The key lies in being creative enough to give your body ample physical exertion.
For example, many bodyweight exercises require nothing more than floor space and your body. You can also use everyday objects to modify exercise difficulty. If your child is having trouble with floor push-ups, have them do inclined push-ups on a sturdy chair or table.
Nearly any physical movement can qualify as exercise if done vigorously enough. As examples, sweeping the floor or wiping the windows can help you and your family burn as many calories.
Consider hosting a competition to see who gets to do the most chores. Your family will get a lot of physical activity, and your house will be cleaner, it’s a win-win situation.
It’s understandable for parents to insist that everyone gets regular exercise, despite the challenges brought by the pandemic. However, repeating the same activities will eventually lead to boredom, no matter how exciting at first.
A crucial part of compliance is to keep people interested since losing motivation can easily lead to adopting a sedentary lifestyle.
Make sure that family members get to try out different activities. Again, this aspect of fitness is where you’ll need to be creative, given the limited opportunities during the pandemic.
Allow Kids To Make Plans
COVID-19 can make everyone feel powerless. The perceived lack of control over what’s happening can hit children the hardest. Without intervention, this mindset can make it difficult for healthy habits, like exercise, to take hold.
A great way to empower children is to give them control over how they live each day. One approach is to involve them whenever the family makes exercise plans. Better yet, allow your kids to make their plans, including what activities to do and when to do them.
With this approach, children will be able to choose activities that they want, leading to increased interest. Allowing them to work on their exercise schedules also increases their confidence and helps them develop their planning skills.
Track Your Activities
It’s easy to be fooled by what you feel—for example, getting sore muscles after a workout does not necessarily mean that the exercise was intense enough.
Meanwhile, people may feel fine after a workout even though they might be using improper techniques that can eventually lead to injury.
Tracking your family activities is crucial in your fitness journey. Even something as simple as jotting down exercise days on a notepad can already be helpful.
There are fitness apps that can give you useful information, such as calories burned. More specialized mobile apps also exist for specific activities, such as yoga and circuit training. You can even buy wearables that can track your movements and measure your heart rate.
Do It Together
Finally, make sure to do activities together as a family. Many of the benefits of exercise are due to the bonding that it promotes among family members.
In these stressful times, we need to form reliable support systems to help each other face problems. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an uncommon scenario for you to become closer to your loved ones, so make sure to grab this opportunity.
According to Samoon Ahmad, M.D., “Regular exercise may strengthen individuals’ immune systems. While a healthy immune system is always important, it has become invaluable during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Make sure to protect your family by building a fun and healthy relationship with exercise and remember that exercise can be a powerful tool to develop resistance against COVID-19.